Papers by Melberg
Elster Page
Ph.D work

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Who am I?
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Categorised titles

General Themes
Ph.D. in progress
Political Theory
Various papers

The Questions
Ph.D Work
Statistical Problems
Social Interaction
Centralization vs. Decentralization

Define economics!
Models, Formalism
Fluctuations, Crisis


Review of textbooks

Belief formation
Inifinite regress

Collapse of Communism
Political Culture

Political Science
State Intervention
Nationalism/Ethnic Violence

Yearly reviews




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People differ in their abilities and interests, so it is difficult to give general recommendations. I can only indicate some of the papers that I am reasonably satisfied with. I have also included a list of the most popular papers.

My list
- The Cultural Approach to Russian History - How reliable?
- The information required for perfect prediction
- Organic explanations (Review of Z. Brzezinski's book about the Collapse of Communism)
- Logical Logic? (Review of M. Malia's book about the Collapse of Communism in the USSR)
- How (not) to explain puzzling Russian behaviour - A Review of R. Hingley's The Russian Mind
- Why don't people believe that free trade is good?
- The assumption of rational selfishness - How can it be justified? When should it be rejected?
- Why (dis)believe rational expectations? A review of Sheffrin's Rational Expectations
- What is economics? A method or a topic?

The most popular papers (last three months of 1997)
1. Lessons from History: The collapse of Communism and the end of the Cold War (1200)
2. Evolution or Creationism: Does science and religion compete in the same arena? (480)
3. A review of reviews: Making Sense of Marx (460)
4. Three arguments about rational choice theory in sociology (340)
5. The pros and cons of state intervention (320)
6. Inflation: An overview of theories and solutions (290)
7. Four distinctive aspects of Soviet and Russian Military Thinking (280)
8. Pushkin or Baumol - Poets, Economists and Contestable Markets (270)
9. The Cultural Approach to Russian History - How reliable? (250)
10. Economic sense and non-sense: A review of Krugman's Peddling Prosperity (240)
11. Three statistical examples: Boeing, sex and education (230)
12. Why don't people believe that free trade is good? (210)



I have two aims with this page. First, I hope that some people will find the papers stimulating.
Second, I hope to receive constructive comments so that I may learn more.


About me

I am a Ph.D student at the University of Oslo (Economics). I have previously studied "Philosophy, Politics and Economics" at Oxford University (1991-94). For more information go to my home page.

About this page

This page receives about 250 hits every week (average of last three months in 1997).

About the categories
The "Articles" are longer more prepared works. The "Observations" are very short ideas, sometimes they may be very wrong - but sometimes (hopefully) a starting point for a good article. The "Review" category should be self-explanatory, but you should be aware that I do not intend to simply summarize the books I review. I often include my own ideas as criticism when I feel it is relevant.

About quoting, bibliographic reference
Feel free to quote or use ideas from my papers. If you use my works you should include the following bibliographic note in your paper:
Melberg, Hans O. (year), (title of the work), (URL source)
For example:

Melberg, Hans O. (1996), The information required for perfect prediction,

I would also be happy to get an e-mail if you use some of the arguments.