Frank Hindriks

Frank Hindriks
University of Groningen | RUG · Faculty of Philosophy

PhD

About

93
Publications
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1,178
Citations
Citations since 2017
38 Research Items
775 Citations
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Introduction
Frank Hindriks is professor at the Faculty of Philosophy, University of Groningen and academic director of the Centre for Philosophy, Politics and Economics (PPE) in Groningen. He does research in Ethics as well as Social and Political Philosophy. Frank is currently working on a book project 'The Structure of a Just Society: Collective Freedom, Responsibilities and Rights.'

Publications

Publications (93)
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Responsibility gaps concern the attribution of blame for harms caused by autonomous machines. The worry has been that, because they are artificial agents, it is impossible to attribute blame, even though doing so would be appropriate given the harms they cause. We argue that there are no responsibility gaps. The harms can be blameless. And if they...
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Moral agents possess a moral point of view: they have a moral identity or a moral self-conception. This implies that, in order for an organization to be a moral agent, it must have a moral point of view. Importantly, acquiring such a point of view is a social process. In light of this, I argue that collective moral agency is a social construct. It...
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There is widespread agreement among philosophers about the Mens Rea Asymmetry (MRA), according to which praise requires intent, whereas blame does not. However, there is evidence showing that MRA is descriptively inadequate. We hypothesize that the violations of MRA found in the experimental literature are due to what we call "moral compositionalit...
Preprint
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Institutions depend on rules. But on what kind of rules? It has been argued that they depend on constitutive rules, this in contrast to ordinary social practices, which depend on regulative rules instead. The underlying idea is that constitutive rules differ categorically from regulative rules. Against this, I argue that regulative rules can be tra...
Chapter
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Is money an object? Although paper money is naturally regarded as a material or concrete object, this does not hold for electronic money. John Searle maintains that institutional statuses, such as money and property, are imposed on concrete objects. But he regards electronic money as an exception. He claims that, as it is realized by computer syste...
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To unify rival theories is to combine their key insights into a single coherent framework. It is often achieved by integrating the theories and forging new connections between their explanatory factors, which leads to an increase in explanatory power. Philip Pettit has proposed an alternative method that serves to establish that their key insights...
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Many morally significant outcomes can be brought about only if several individuals contribute to them. However, individual contributions to collective outcomes often fail to have morally significant effects on their own. Some have concluded from this that it is permissible to do nothing. What I call ‘the problem of insignificant hands’ is the chall...
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The robot rights debate has thus far proceeded without any reliable data concerning the public opinion about robots and the rights they should have. We have administered an online survey ( n = 439) that investigates layman’s attitudes toward granting particular rights to robots. Furthermore, we have asked them the reasons for their willingness to g...
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Institutions can be strong or weak. But what does this mean? Equilibrium theories equate institutions with behavioral regularities. In contrast, rule theories explicate them in terms of a standard that people are supposed to meet. I propose that, when an institution is weak, a discrepancy exists between the regularity and the standard or rule. To c...
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The Social Sciences and Humanities (SSH) have a key role to play in understanding which factors and policies would motivate, encourage and enable different actors to adopt a wide range of sustainable energy behaviours and support the required system changes and policies. The SSH can provide critical insights into how consumers could be empowered to...
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Institutions are often regarded either as rules or as equilibria sustained by self-interested agents. I ask how these two theories can be combined. According to Philip Pettit's Virtual Control Theory, they explain different things: rules explain why regularities persist; self-interest why they are resilient. Thus, his theory reconciles the two theo...
Research
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According to the Rules-and-Equilibria Theory, institutions are social practices that are governed by social norms. I present and develop it in three papers that explore the relation between institutions and social norms from three different angles. The first paper introduces the theory. The second one uses it to explicate the difference between str...
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People should take immediate action to prevent climate harms. Although intuitive, this claim faces two important problems. First, no individual can avert a climate harm on her own. Second, too few people are typically willing to contribute. In response, I point out that individuals can sometimes help to prevent harm to the climate, and I argue that...
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Institutions generate cooperative benefits that explain why they exist and persist. Therefore, their etiological function is to promote cooperation. The function of a particular institution, such as money or traffic regulations, is to solve one or more cooperation problems. We go on to argue that the teleological function of institutions is to secu...
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ABSTARCT When people go shopping, they enter a building. But the shop cannot be identified with the building, because it would remain the same shop if it moved to another building or if it became an e-store. Daniel Korman [2019] uses these two observations to argue that establishments are immaterial objects. However, all that follows is that establ...
Chapter
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Institutions can be analyzed in terms of constitutive rules that forge intimate connections between statements about facts and norms. The purpose of this chapter is to investigate whether constitutive rules thereby bridge the gap between is-statements and ought-statements. I use the status account of constitutive rules that I have proposed elsewher...
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Individualists claim that collective obligations are reducible to the individual obligations of the collective’s members. Collectivists deny this. We set out to discover who is right by way of a deontic logic of collective action that models collective actions, abilities, obligations, and their interrelations. On the basis of our formal analysis, w...
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The article The irreducibility of collective obligations, written by Allard Tamminga and Frank Hindriks, was originally published electronically on the publisher’s internet portal (currently SpringerLink) on 12 January 2019 without open access.
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In light of recent empirical data, many psychologists and philosophers have turned away from rationalism about moral judgment and embraced sentimentalism. In the process, they have rejected the classical “moral signature” as a way of distinguishing moral from conventional norms in favor of a sentimentalist approach to carving out the moral domain....
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The social world is inhabited by social objects, such as money and traffic lights, and by social roles, such as being a surgeon or a president. This paper asks why. Its key premise is that social entities feature in social practices and institutions the function of which is to generate collective benefits. Its central claim is that social entities...
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Institutions are norm-governed social practices, or so I propose. But what does it mean for a norm to govern a social practice? Theories that analyze institutions as equilibria equate norms with sanctions and model them as costs. The idea is that the sanctions change preferences and thereby behavior. This view fails to capture the fact that people...
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Some harms are such that they cannot be prevented by a single individual because she lacks the requisite control. Because of this, no individual has the obligation to do so. It may be, however, that the harm can be prevented when several individuals combine their efforts. I argue that in many such situations each individual has a duty to join force...
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Experimental philosophers have discovered a large number of asymmetries in our intuitions about philosophically significant notions. Often those intuitions turned out to be sensitive to normative factors. Whereas optimists have insisted on a unified explanation of these findings, pessimists have argued that it is impossible to formulate a single fa...
Chapter
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What is an institution? And what distinguishes one type of institution from another? We answer these questions using a functionalist approach: types of institutions are identified by their function, or the coordination problems they solve; token institutions are specific solutions to these problems, or equilibria of strategic games. The functionali...
Chapter
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With shared action comes collective responsibility. And blameworthiness for shared intentional wrongdoing is in principle greater than that of people who do the same wrong as a result of strategic interaction. The reason for this is that, when several agents have a shared intention to do wrong, their ill wills are mutually implicated in each other...
Article
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Institutions are norm-governed social practices, or so I propose. But what does it mean for a norm to govern a social practice? Theories that analyze institutions as equilibria equate norms with sanctions and model them as costs. The idea is that the sanctions change preferences and thereby behavior. This view fails to capture the fact that people...
Preprint
Full-text available
Proponents of corporate moral responsibility have provided a number of accounts of corporate moral agency. But these accounts do not shed light on how a collective agent might fail to be a moral agent. I explain the difference between moral and amoral collective agents in terms of the notion of a normative perspective. I argue that, in order for a...
Article
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Proponents of corporate moral responsibility have provided a number of accounts of moral collective agency. But these accounts do not shed light on how a collective agent might fail to be a moral agent. I explain the difference between moral and amoral collective agents in terms of the notion of a normative perspective. I argue that, in order for a...
Chapter
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In the past 30 years, collective intentionality, group agency and social institutions have established themselves as central topics within analytic philosophy. The many wide-ranging and penetrating papers and books that Raimo Tuomela has published on these topics have made a significant contribution to this development. His new book Social Ontology...
Article
Iedereen moet zijn of haar verantwoordelijkheid nemen. Maar neemt de rijksoverheid zelf haar verantwoordelijkheid wel? De participatiemaatschappij zou ervoor moeten zorgen dat mensen in hun kracht komen te staan. Maar het keukentafelgesprek roept juist vaak onmacht op bij mensen die hulp nodig hebben.
Article
The increase in the supply of intermittent renewable energy and the higher electricity use lead to stronger variation in network usage, which either requires costly network extensions or the implementation of incentives to reduce peaks. This paper focuses on the latter, namely dynamic tariffs. However, a tension may exist between economic arguments...
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Many existing defenses of group rights seem to rely on the notion of group freedom. To date, however, no adequate analysis of this notion has been offered. Group freedom is best understood in terms of processes of social categorization that are embedded in social mechanisms. Such processes often give rise to group-specific constraints and enablemen...
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Many philosophers deny that happiness can be equated with pleasurable experiences. In influential work, Nozick introduced an experience machine thought experiment to support the idea that happiness requires pleasurable experiences that are " in contact with reality. " In this thought experiment, people can choose to plug into a machine that induces...
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Freedom is often analysed in terms of the absence of intentionally imposed constraints. I defend the alternative view on which the relevant constraints are those for which some agent can be held morally responsible. I argue that this best captures the relation between freedom and respect. Berlin (1969) correctly points out that intentional restrict...
Article
Epstein compares models of group agents that focus on their internal organization to models that focus on the statuses they have. He argues that status models are inadequate because agency is not something that can be attributed by fiat. Even if this is true, however, certain agential powers can be attributed to group agents. I argue that Epstein’s...
Article
In a celebrated experiment, Joshua Knobe showed that people are much more prone to attribute intentionality to an agent for a side effect of a given act when that side effect is harmful than when it is beneficial. This asymmetry has become known as " the Knobe Effect." According to Knobe's Moral Valence Explanation (as we call it), bad effects trig...
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Hindriks argued that Searle’s theory of institutions suffers from a number of problems pertaining to the notions of constitutive rule, status function, Status Function Declaration, deontic power, and human right. Lobo argues that these criticisms are not sufficiently charitable. In response, it is argued here that the problems that were identified...
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Social Ontology: Collective Intentionality and Group Agents, Raimo Tuomela. Oxford University Press, 2013, xiv + 310 pages. - Volume 31 Issue 2 - Frank Hindriks
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True Love Without Uniqueness: Good Reasons for Romantic Love Love involves emotions, and emotions are things that happen to us. So how can love be true? Love can be true only if people can have reasons for loving someone. I explore the tension between these two thoughts and propose a way of resolving it. I argue that reasons for romantic love are n...
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Recent experiments in moral psychology have been taken to imply that moral reasoning only serves to reaffirm prior moral intuitions. More specifically, Jonathan Haidt concludes from his moral dumbfounding experiments, in which people condemn other people’s behavior, that moral reasoning is biased and ineffective, as it rarely makes people change th...
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Our goal is to develop a theory that combines the best insights of philosophical and scientific theories of institutions. We are not committed a priori to save the commonsense notion of institution, or the thesis of human exceptionalism. We think that human cognition is important, but we do not claim that common knowledge or collective intentions a...
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We propose a new framework to unify three conceptions of institutions that play a prominent role in the philosophical and scientific literature: the equilibria account, the regulative rules account, and the constitutive rules account. We argue that equilibrium-based and rule-based accounts are individually inadequate, but that jointly they provide...
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Corporate responsibility requires a conception of collective agency on which organizations are able to form moral judgments and act on them. In spite of claims to the contrary, existing accounts of collective agency fall short of this kind of corporate autonomy, as they fail to explain how collective agents might be responsive to moral reasons. I d...
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According to the expression account, assertion is the linguistic expression of belief. Given the knowledge rule of belief, this entails that knowledge is a normative requirement of sincere assertions. On this account, which is defended in Hindriks (2007), knowledge can be a normative requirement of sincere assertions even though there is no knowled...
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Recent empirical research reveals that emotions play a central role in the formation of moral judgments. Subjective Sentimentalists such as Haidt, Nichols, and Prinz hold that affective responses provide the basis of moral beliefs. They also maintain that such beliefs cannot be justified, and that moral reasoning has little or no relevance other th...
Book
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Includes essays that challenge the need for a theory of collective intentionality as well as essays that extend and enrich existing theories of collective intentionality The essays concerning collective rationality (part II) break new ground in that they challenge the idea that there is a straightforward dichotomy between individual and collective...
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Intuitions about intentional action have turned out to be sensitive to normative factors: most people say that an indifferent agent brings about an effect of her action intentionally when it is harmful, but unintentionally when it is beneficial. Joshua Knobe explains this asymmetry, which is known as ‘the Knobe effect’, in terms of the moral valenc...
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Institutions are normative social structures that are collectively accepted. In his book Making the Social World, John R. Searle maintains that these social structures are created and maintained by Status Function Declarations. The article’s author criticizes this claim and argues, first, that Searle overestimates the role that language plays in re...
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How can false models be explanatory? And how can they help us to understand the way the world works? Sometimes scientists have little hope of building models that approximate the world they observe. Even in such cases, I argue, the models they build can have explanatory import. The basic idea is that scientists provide causal explanations of why th...
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According to John Searle’s well-known Is-Ought Argument, it is possible to derive an ought-statement from is-statements only. This argument concerns obligations involved in institutions such as promising, and it relies on the idea that institutions can be conceptualized in terms of constitutive rules. In this paper, I argue that the structure of th...
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Mental, mathematical, and moral facts are difficult to accommodate within an overall worldview due to the peculiar kinds of properties inherent to them. In this paper I argue that a significant class of social entities also presents us with an ontological puzzle that has thus far not been addressed satisfactorily. This puzzle relates to the locatio...
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Current debates in social ontology are dominated by approaches that view institutions either as rules or as equilibria of strategic games. We argue that these two approaches can be unified within an encompassing theory based on the notion of correlated equilibrium. We show that in a correlated equilibrium each player follows a regulative rule of th...
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The team reasoning approach explains cooperation in terms of group identification, which in turn is explicated in terms of agency transformation and payoff transformation. Empirical research in social psychology is consistent with the significance of agency and payoff transformation. However, it also reveals that group identification depends on soc...
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Famously Ryle imagined a visitor who has seen the colleges, departments, and libraries of a university but still wonders where the university is. The visitor fails to realize that the university consists of these organizational units. In this paper I ask what exactly the relation is between institutional entities such as universities and the entiti...
Chapter
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Skill or control is commonly regarded as a necessary condition for intentional action. This received wisdom is challenged by experiments conducted by Joshua Knobe and Thomas Nadelhoffer, which suggest that moral considerations sometimes trump considerations of skill and control. I argue that this effect (as well as the Knobe effect) can be explaine...
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In criminal law, foresight betrays a guilty mind as much as intent does: both reveal that the agent is not properly motivated to avoid an illegal state of affairs. This commonality warrants our judgment that the state is brought about intentionally, even when unintended. In contrast to Knobe, I thus retain the idea that acting intentionally is acti...
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It is a commonplace within philosophy that the ontology of institutions can be captured in terms of constitutive rules. What exactly such rules are, however, is not well understood. They are usually contrasted to regulative rules: constitutive rules (such as the rules of chess) make institutional actions possible, whereas regulative rules (such as...
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Paradoxical results concerning judgment aggregation have recently been invoked to defend the thesis that a corporate agent can be morally responsible for a decision without any of its individual members bearing such responsibility. I contend that the arguments offered for this irreducibility thesis are inconclusive. They do not pay enough attention...
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A powerful and provocative critique of the foundations of Rational Choice theory and the economic way of thinking about the world, written by a former leading practitioner. The target is a dehumanizing ideology that cannot properly recognize that normal people have attachments and commitments to other people and to practices, projects, principles,...
Article
Freedom is commonly taken to consist in the absence of constraints. Dowding and van Hees (2007) defend an instance of this view according to which an agent fails to be free to perform a particular action (if and) only if she is intentionally prevented from carrying out that action. Here I consider two ways of understanding what intentional preventi...
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Many models in economics are very unrealistic. At the same time, economists put a lot of effort in making their models more realistic. I argue that in many cases, including the Modigliani-Miller irrelevance theorem investigated in this paper, the purpose of this process of concretization is explanatory. When evaluated in combination with their assu...
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Recent empirical research by Joshua Knobe has uncovered two asymmetries in judgements about intentional action and moral responsibility. First, people are more inclined to say that a side effect was brought about intentionally when they regard that side effect as bad than when they regard it as good. Secondly, people are more inclined to ascribe bl...
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According to the increasingly popular knowledge account, assertion is governed by the rule that speech acts of that kind require knowledge of their content. Timothy Williamson has argued that this knowledge rule is the constitutive rule of assertion. It is argued here that it is not the constitutive rule of assertion in any sense of the term, as it...
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  Neither Johnston's nor Wright's account of response-dependence offers a complete picture of response-dependence, as they do not apply to all concepts that are intrinsically related to our mental responses. In order to (begin to) remedy this situation, a new conception of response-dependence is introduced that I call “acceptance-dependence”. This...
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Musgrave (1981) proposed a typology of assumptions, developed further by Maki (2000), to defend the idea that the truth of assumptions is often important when evaluating economic theories against those economists who consider only predictive success to be relevant for this purpose. In this paper I propose a new framework for this typology that shed...
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AbstractA common objection against deflationist theories of truth is that they cannot do justice to the correspondence intuition, i.e. the intuition that there is an explanatory relationship between, for instance, the truth of ‘Snow is white’ and snow's being white. We scrutinize two attempts to meet this objection and argue that both fail. We then...
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Economic models often include unrealistic assumptions. This does not mean, however, that economists lack a concern for the truth of their assumptions. Unrealistic assumptions are frequently imposed because the effects are taken to be negligible or because the problem at hand is intractable without them. Using the Musgrave-Maki typology as the point...
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Thesis (doctoral)--Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam, 2005.
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A modest solution to the problem(s) of rule-following is defended against Kripkensteinian scepticism about meaning. Even though parts of it generalise to other concepts, the theory as a whole applies to response-dependent concepts only. It is argued that the finiteness problem is not nearly as pressing for such concepts as it may be for some other...
Chapter
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What is it for a set of individuals to make up a social group? How does a social group come into existence? What features do social groups have? These are among the questions that especially Margaret Gilbert and Raimo Tuomela have been trying to answer during the past decade or two. An important feature that their accounts share is the following: t...
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Searle used to analyze institutional facts in terms of the constitutive rule. In his more elaborate account in "The Construction of Social Reality" he introduces the notion of a status function. The "counts as" locution is central to both the constitutive rule and the status function. The main question I ask is what role is left for the constitutiv...
Article
Vergelijking van drie modellen voor het schatten van prijs-/kostenmarges in de industrie. De prijs-/ kostenmarge geeft een indicatie van de mate van concurrentie tussen bedrijven. Die is van belang voor consumenten, omdat zij te veel betalen als er te weinig concurrentie is. Complexere leveren niet zonder meer betere resultaten. In het algemeen kan...
Article
We compare two methods for estimating a markup: Roeger (1995) on the one hand, and the structural approach of Appelbaum (1982) and Bresnahan (1982) on the other. Toeger estimates the average Lerner index. Furthermore, he uses the assumption of a constant markup as a substitute for data on the level of capital cost, which he takes to be unobservable...
Article
Bespreking van drie marktwerkingsmodellen. De eerste twee - die van Appelbaum en Bresnnahan - zijn modellen waarin zowel de vraag als het aanbod naar een bepaald product wordt gemodelleerd. Het derde marktwerkingsmodel - dat van Roeger - betreft alleen het aanbod van het betreffende product.
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Toepassing van het marktwerkingsmodel van Appelbaum op de Nederlandse industrie. In het model van Appelbaum staan het gedrag en de prestaties van bedrijven centraal. Hiervoor worden twee kengetallen gebruikt: de conjecturele elasticiteit en de Lerner-index. De conjecturele elasticiteit meet de mate waarin bedrijven op elkaar reageren en de Lerner-i...
Article
Competition and market power have been the focus of much of the empirical research conducted by the EIM in the recent past. This report is concerned with these issues as well, and focuses in particular on the link between market conduct and performance. The background of the model which is applied in this report is a general oligopoly model which i...
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This report discusses allocative efficiency and focuses on pricing and quantity-setting policies. These can be considered to be the most fundamental aspects of market power. Perfect competition is commonly advocated as optimal. If the price in a certain industry diverges from marginal cost, this ideal has not been met. The quantity supplied is sub-...
Article
Institutions play a very important role in our lives. Many of our daily activities are institutional. Think of going to the office, giving a lecture, standing in line for lunch, paying for it, and attending a seminar. All of these are institutional phenomena. The underlying institutions structure our behaviour. They are social arrangements that oft...
Article
The traditional answer to the question what it is to make an assertion appeals to belief (see Grice 1989 and Searle 1969). To assert something, so the analysis goes, is to express a belief by way of uttering a sentence. Timothy Williamson claims (1) that on the traditional analysis assertion is constitutively governed by the truth rule (242):1 One...

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Projects (11)
Project
To understand the nature of institutions and their relation to social norms To explain how weak institutions differ from strong ones To unify equilibrium and rule theories of institutions
Archived project