Malte Dold

Malte Dold
Pomona College · Department of Economics

PhD

About

83
Publications
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217
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Introduction
Malte Dold is an Assistant Professor in the Economics Department at Pomona College in Southern California. His research lies at the intersection of behavioral economics, philosophy of economics and history of economic thought. In particular, his research sheds light on normative and methodo­logical issues in behavioral economics and the historical interdependencies between Austrian economics and ordoliberalism.

Publications

Publications (83)
Article
Since the publication of the seminal book Nudge by Thaler and Sunstein, several critics have highlighted preference endogeneity as a serious obstacle to nudging. When individuals hold preferences that are dynamic and endogenous to the nudge frame, it is unclear what the normative benchmark for libertarian paternalistic policies should be. While ack...
Preprint
Full-text available
Menger's distinction between "true" and "imaginary" goods and his attempt to relate the account of goods back to human needs invites a discussion of whether his work constitutes a fruitful basis for modern welfare economics. In this paper, we show that Menger's system contains indeed a form of welfare economics, but only in a limited sense. For Men...
Preprint
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Sugden (2018) argues that behavioral economists do not take psychology seriously when they equate welfare with the satisfaction of 'true' preferences that fulfill the standard axioms of neoclassical rationality. Sugden offers an alternative account of welfare grounded in the view that there is no psychological mechanism that could give rise to 'tru...
Article
In this paper, we analyse Hayek's views on endogenous preferences. Perhaps surprisingly in the light of his remarks that economists ought to take people's preferences as given, there are several places in Hayek's economics and political economy where preference endogeneity plays a significant role. We begin by documenting those cases, providing an...
Article
Full-text available
Traditionally, economists and tax theorists justify taxation by means of externalities. In recent years, both scholars and policymakers have begun advocating ‘sin taxes’ on goods whose consumption causes ‘internalities’: unaccounted-for costs that a person imposes on herself, not on others. In this paper, we argue that sin taxes rest on a static mo...
Preprint
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Kenneth Dyson has written a superb book: rich in its historical detail, clear in its analysis, and original in its main thesis. It is also wonderfully ambitious. Parts I and II analyze the German tradition of Ordo-liberalism in a comparative-historical perspective and highlight the pivotal works of, among others, Walter Eucken, Franz Böhm, Alfred M...
Preprint
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In Fairness versus Welfare (2003), Louis Kaplow and Steven Shavell provide a manifesto for normative law and economics. Therein, they spell out the foundations for contemporary law and economics based on a Paretian consequentialist welfarism and a preferentialist account of welfare. We argue in this paper that this normative program faces serious c...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Carl Menger is a difficult author. On the one hand, his Principles of Economics (Grundsätze der Volkswirtschaftslehre) is quite lucid, if often repetitive, and brilliantly insightful. On the other hand, the methodological grounding of his work as worked out in his Investigations into the Method of the Social Sciences (Untersuchungen über die Method...
Preprint
Full-text available
Since the publication of the seminal book Nudge by Thaler and Sunstein several critics have highlighted preference endogeneity as a serious obstacle to nudging. When individuals hold preferences that are dynamic and endogenous to the nudge frame it is unclear what the normative benchmark for libertarian paternalistic policies should be. While ackno...
Preprint
Full-text available
In this introduction, we briefly review the key arguments from Rizzo and Whitman's Escaping Paternalism (2019) and then summarize the contributions to the symposium (forthcoming in the Review of Behavioral Economics). The diverse views expressed therein show that Rizzo and Whitman’s critique of the methodological robustness of behavioral biases and...
Article
Buchanan mentions at several points in his oeuvre the necessary role for a constitutional attitude. This attitude is both explanatory and evaluative; it explains why citizens value liberty but also highlights one of the necessary conditions for the stability of a free society. We argue that Buchanan’s idea of a ‘constitutional attitude’ is extremel...
Article
Frank Knight is famous for the distinction between risk and uncertainty. In this paper, we argue that Knight’s distinction is different from the one made by those who seek to interpret it within a neoclassical framework. Knight does not reduce ‘true uncertainty’ to the application of (axiomatic) subjective probability. Instead, Knight highlights th...
Preprint
Full-text available
Abstract: In this paper, we analyse Hayek’s views on endogenous preferences. Perhaps surpris-ingly in the light of his remarks that economists ought to take people’s preferences as given, there are several places in Hayek’s economics and political economy where preference endogeneity plays a significant role. We begin by documenting those cases, pr...
Article
Full-text available
Behavioral economics and existentialism both present informative perspectives on human choice. We argue in this article that the dialogue between the two approaches can enrich the current debate about the normative implications of behavioral economics. While behavioral economics suggests that our capacity to choose is constrained by cognitive biase...
Article
In Risk, Uncertainty and Profit (RUP), Knight (1921) develops a theory of the firm that stresses the important role of entrepreneurial judgment for a firm's success. For Knight, entrepreneurial judgment is first and foremost the selection of ‘proxy entrepreneurs’ who are capable of making good judgments under uncertainty. In this sense, entrepreneu...
Preprint
Full-text available
Behavioral economics and existentialism both present informative perspectives on human choice. We argue in this article that the dialogue between the two approaches can enrich the current debate about normative implications of behavioral economics. While behavioral economics highlights that our capacity to choose is constrained by cognitive biases...
Preprint
Full-text available
In Risk, Uncertainty, and Profit (RUP), Knight (1921) develops a theory of the firm that stresses the important role of entrepreneurial judgment for a firm’s success. For Knight, entrepreneurial judgment is first and foremost the selection of ‘proxy entrepreneurs’ who are capable of making good judgments under uncertainty. In this sense, entreprene...
Preprint
Full-text available
Buchanan mentions at several points in his oeuvre the necessary role for a constitutional attitude. This attitude is both explanatory and evaluative; it explains why citizens value liberty but also highlights one of the necessary conditions for the stability of a free society. We argue that Buchanan's idea of a 'constitutional attitude' is extremel...
Preprint
Full-text available
Constitutional political economy has an explanatory and a justificatory strand. The former explains how alternative sets of rules and institutions give rise to different forms of social interaction; the latter tries to justify and give normative foundation to rules and institutions within a liberal contractarian tradition. Here, the central questio...
Article
Full-text available
In the aftermath of the Eurozone crisis, a battle of ideas emerged over whether ordoliberalism is part of the cause or the solution of economic problems in Europe. While German ordoliberals argued that their policy proposals were largely ignored before, during and after the crisis, critics saw too much ordoliberal influence, especially in form of a...
Preprint
Full-text available
Frank Knight is famous for the distinction between risk and uncertainty. In this paper, we argue that Knight's distinction is different from the one made by those who seek to interpret it within a neoclassical framework. Knight does not reduce "true uncertainty" to the application of (axiomatic) subjective probability. Instead, Knight highlights th...
Preprint
Full-text available
We draw on David Hume's essays on happiness to extend ideas about welfare, preferences, and the social role of behavioral welfare economists in Mario Rizzo and Glen Whitman's (2020) Escaping Paternalism. Through literary dialogue, Hume illustrates that individuals have different perspectives on the good life. These perspectives cannot be resolved b...
Article
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This text is a blog post at "Wirtschaftliche Freiheit". Please find the post here: http://wirtschaftlichefreiheit.de/wordpress/?p=28835
Article
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This text is a blog post at "Ökonomenstimme". Please find the post here: https://www.oekonomenstimme.org/artikel/2021/03/ordoliberalismus-ideologie-und-die-eurokrise/
Article
Full-text available
In recent years, commentators have noticed that the European liberal order is ‘under attack’. Traditional parties of the center are in decline. Populist movements of the right and the left have won elections or significant shares in parliaments. In the face of this ‘new’ crisis of liberalism, our paper follows the spirit of Walter Lippmann’s The Go...
Preprint
Full-text available
This chapter provides an overview of the work of German economist-sociologist Viktor Vanberg. By working out a synthesis between the contractarian economics of James Buchanan and the evolutionary economics of Friedrich Hayek, Vanberg has made essential contributions to the development and modernization of ordoliberal thinking. The first part of thi...
Article
Historians of economic thought are paying greater attention to issues of social ontology (i.e. to the assumptions that economists make about the nature of social reality). We contribute to this burgeoning literature by exploring the hitherto neglected way in which James Buchanan invoked ontological considerations, concerning in particular the natur...
Preprint
Full-text available
What should be the 'informational base' of welfare economics if one takes the insights from behavioral economics seriously? Sugden proposes individuals' sets of opportunities. This paper discusses his opportunity criterion and argues that it largely neglects intricate problems of context-dependence and personal agency. We contrast Sugden's approach...
Preprint
Full-text available
Traditionally, economists and tax theorists justify taxation by means of externalities. In recent years, both scholars and policymakers have begun advocating 'sin taxes' on goods whose consumption causes 'internalities': unaccounted-for costs that a person imposes on herself, not on others. In this paper, we argue that sin taxes rest on a static mo...
Article
Full-text available
At various points in his work, James Buchanan mentions favorably the idea of private constitutional choice, that is, it can be rational for a present-biased individual to constrain her future behavior by self-imposed rules of personal conduct. Given that in a classical liberal world such self-constitutions would face no political or legal obstacle,...
Preprint
Full-text available
At various points in his work, James Buchanan mentions favorably the idea of private constitutional choice, that is, it can be rational for a present-biased individual to constrain her future behavior by self-imposed rules of personal conduct. Given that in a classical liberal world such self-constitutions would face no political or legal obstacle,...
Preprint
Full-text available
In recent years, commentators have noticed that the European liberal order is ‘under attack’. Traditional parties of the center are in decline. Populist movements of the right and the left have won elections or significant shares in parliaments. In the face of this ‘new’ crisis of liberalism, our paper follows the spirit of Walter Lippmann’s The Go...
Book
This edited volume takes a broad perspective on the recent debate on the role of German ordoliberalism in shaping European economic policy before and after the Eurozone crisis. It shows how ordoliberal scholars explain the institutional origins of the Eurozone crisis, and presents creative policy proposals for the future of the European economy. O...
Chapter
This chapter is the introduction to the edited volume "Ordoliberalism and European Economic Policy: Between Realpolitik and Economic Utopia". It sets the scene for the edited volume. It explores and theorizes the nature of ordoliberalism and its inherent tension between realpolitik and economic utopia. The chapter explains the tripartite meta-struc...
Chapter
This chapter of the edited volume "Ordoliberalism and European Economic Policy: Between Realpolitik and Economic Utopia" ties together some of the book’s key thoughts and provides an outlook on ordoliberalism’s future prospects. The chapter argues that ordoliberals need to escape pure exegesis of their past heroes, rediscover the reforming spirit o...
Preprint
Full-text available
In the aftermath of the Eurozone crisis, a ‘battle of ideas’ emerged over whether ordoliberalism is part of the cause or the solution of economic problems in Europe. While German ordoliberals argued that their policy proposals were largely ignored before and during the crisis, implying a too small role of ordoliberalism in European economic policy,...
Conference Paper
Available online at: https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3406320
Article
Full-text available
Although behavioral economics has criticized the empirical accuracy of the neoclassical rationality assumption, it supports the normative view that welfare-increasing choice presupposes stable and context-independent preferences. We argue that this position neglects important features of decisionmaking that were essential to the thinking of Frank H...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Like other classical liberal thinkers, Buchanan mentions at several points in his oeuvre the necessary role of a 'constitutional attitude'-at the individual ('the private man') and social level ('the public man'). Buchanan's constitutional attitude is both explanatory and evaluative; it explains why citizens value liberty but also highlights one of...
Preprint
Full-text available
While behavioral economics has had a major impact on positive theorizing in economics, it remains unclear what exactly those new insights about deviations from rational choice mean in terms of policy implications. Given the ever-rising interest in the new, psychologically informed economics, this paper will outline the way in which reasoning about...
Preprint
Full-text available
The economic analysis of law is rooted in a tradition of static welfare economics with the assumption of stable preferences. Although behavioral economics has criticized the empirical accuracy of this assumption, it supports the normative view that welfare-increasing choice presupposes stable and context-independent preferences. We argue that this...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
There is an ongoing debate about the normative essence of James Buchanan's oeuvre and his privately held views on historical matters. Rather than addressing the second issue, this paper develops a constructive critique of some of Buchanan's 'first principles' by considering the fundamental propositions of his political philosophy. It will identify...
Article
Full-text available
In light of behavioral findings regarding inconsistent individual decision-making, economists have begun to re-conceptualize the notion of welfare. One prominent account is the preference purification approach (PP), which attempts to reconstruct preferences from choice data based on a normative understanding of neoclassical rationality. Using Bucha...
Chapter
According to the traditional ordo-liberal view of the Freiburg School, the central role of the state in economic affairs is to set up rules that create a competitive order within which private actors have sufficient incentives to coordinate their economic affairs efficiently. Underlying this view is the implicit assumption that, given the right ins...
Article
From an economic point of view, the problem of cyber security is not primarily a technological chal-lenge, but it is based on misaligned incentives. When market participants do not bear the full costs of their negligent behavior in digital transactions, the market outcome tends to be inefficient. In this article, we argue that one of the main reaso...
Chapter
Ökonomische Problemstellungen und ordnungspolitisch fundierte Lösungsansätze für eine wohlfahrtserhöhende Weiterentwicklung der Regeln für die Nutzung privater Information werden herausgearbeitet. Es wird untersucht, inwieweit hierfür unter Beachtung der informationellen Selbstbestimmung ein Markt geschaffen werden kann und wo die Chancen und Grenz...
Article
Full-text available
We present a three-player queuing game to study procedural preferences in a laboratory experiment. Together with markets, queues and waiting lists are universal procedures for allocating goods and services. We designed our queuing game to disentangle motivations of outcome-oriented egoistic preferences, outcome-oriented distributional (inequality a...
Chapter
The aim of this note is to revisit the meaningfulness of the Condorcet Jury Theorem (CJT) and apply it to the recent debate on liberal paternalism and consumer protection. The CJT consists of two parts, (a) stating that a jury of experts is always more competent than a single expert given a certain level of competence, and (b) asserting that for la...
Article
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Project (1)
Project
Ordoliberalism, which traces its roots to a prolific group of economic and legal scholars at the University of Freiburg, Germany, in the early 20th century, has proved singularly influential in shaping the social market economy of post-war Germany. At its core, ordoliberalism comprises a legislative – or constitutional – framework designed to protect both entrepreneurial competition and economic freedom for all market actors. In the aftermath of the global financial crisis, ordoliberal thinking has been associated with a set of policies emphasizing rule-based austerity and structural changes coupled with strong opposition to budget deficits and Keynesian demand management. Commentators often portray ordoliberalism as a German variant of Anglo-Saxon or Chicago-style neoliberalism that propagates free markets and the minimization of the state’s discretionary power. While there is truth to this narrative, ordoliberalism has never been a monolithic school of thought solely concerned with laissez-faire economics or fiscal aus-terity. In fact, since its inception, ordoliberalism has acknowledged the possibility of market imperfections and emphasized a strong role for the state in correcting them. This project aims at highlighting the diversity of methodological approaches within ordoliberalism, but also notes important criticism from scholars who do not consider themselves to be ordoliberals. It will examine the historical roots of ordoliberalism, show how ordoliberal scholars explain the institutional origins of recent financial crises, and present creative policy proposals for the future of the European economy. Thus, it will become clear that the ordoliberal discourse oscillates between an attempt to offer political solutions to concrete socioeconomic challenges, and the dream of finding ideal theoretical arguments for a prosperous market order. This tension between Realpolitik and economic utopia can be seen as a reflection of the wider debate on the performative power of economics, and the question of how far economic theory shapes, and is shaped by, historical contingencies and institutions.