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Eli Noam

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Carl Chiarella, Peter Flaschel, Reiner Franke, Ricardo Araujo, Matthieu Charpe, Christian R. Proaño and Andreas Szczutkowski

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Carl Chiarella, Peter Flaschel, Reiner Franke, Ricardo Araujo, Matthieu Charpe, Christian R. Proaño and Andreas Szczutkowski

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Tenghao Zhang, Pi-Shen Seet, Janice Redmond, Jalleh Sharafizad and Wee-Liang Tan

Until the mid-twentieth century, Southeast Asia and North America were the predominant destinations for Chinese emigrants. Amid the Voyage to Nanyang exodus, the California Gold Rush and the Transcontinental Railroad construction, millions of Chinese migrants, overwhelmingly from Guangdong and Fujian provinces in southern China, ventured to Southeast Asia and North America for better opportunities (Godley, 2002). When these early Chinese immigrants first arrived in the host countries, they were in effect sojourners aiming to remit sums of money to their families in China (Dana, 2014: 259). They also intended to return to China in their old age to enjoy the fruits of their ‘arduous labours in exile’ (Willmott, 1966: 254). For example, Loewen (1971: 27) argues that the early Chinese people in Mississippi were not true immigrants, but were sojourners and planning to return to China when ‘their task was accomplished’. These Chinese immigrants were faced with different levels of hostility from local residents, who saw them as greedy individuals, exploiting their advantageous economic position (for example, Chinese in Thailand; Coughlin, 1960). Members of the Chinese community often were excluded from many formal occupations, which led them to focus on the trade and commerce sectors and act as intermediaries between customers and producers. For example, Willmott’s (1966) study found that 84 per cent of Chinese immigrants in Cambodia were engaged in the commercial sector, which is significantly higher than the Cambodian average of 6.5 per cent. Appleton (1960) found that in the Philippines, ethnic Chinese held 23 per cent of the total commercial investment and nearly 30 per cent of the total investment in retail and import–export trade, despite only making up 1 to 2 per cent of the national population. Loewen (1971) found that 97 per cent of the Chinese immigrants in Mississippi, USA, were operating grocery stores.

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A. Roy Thurik

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Hans Landström

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Salvatore Rossi

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Riccardo Viale and Umberto Filotto

Real life problems are inside a complex environment. They are typically ill-defined problems; that is, the goals are not definite, we don’t know what counts as an alternative and how many alternatives there are, it’s unclear what the consequences might be and how to estimate their probabilities and utilities. Jim Savage dubbed this environment characterized by uncertainty as Large World. Small Worlds instead are in principle predictable and without surprises and they are characterized by the knowledge of all relevant variables, their consequences and probabilities. The conditions of Small World are the requirements of Neoclassical Rationality, as Herbert Simon stressed in his Nobel Lecture. In these worlds the problems may be well-defined but they can also be computationally intractable. As is well known, an example of a computational tractable problem is the dice game. Instead the well-defined problem of the chess game is computationally intractable. In any case the real world is most of the time large and these conditions of knowledge are rarely met. Since they are rarely met, the normative rational requirements of neoclassical economics are unjustified and the application of their theories can easily lead to a disaster. Is Finance an example of Large World? Or are there financial phenomena that may be considered examples of Small Worlds? And in this case may they be dealt with by rational tools such as probabilistic reasoning and utility maximization? And if this is the case, what is the role of financial literacy and education? Is financial literacy sufficient to empower the financial decision making of savers and investors or should it be strengthened by training them also in behavioural finance and “debiasing” techniques? And can financial literacy avoid including risk literacy, which is the technique used to reason easily about probability calculus and statistics?

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Edited by Philip McCann and Tim Vorley

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Edited by Léo-Paul Dana