nep-cbe New Economics Papers
on Cognitive and Behavioural Economics
Issue of 2006‒06‒10
ten papers chosen by
Marco Novarese
Universita del Piemonte Orientale

  1. Economic Development from the Perspective of Evolutionary Economic Theory By Richard R. Nelson
  2. Darwin and the Body Politic: Schaffle, Veblen, and the Shift of Biological Metaphor in Economics By Sophus A. Reinert
  3. Testing the Predictions of Decision Theories in a Natural Experiment When Half a Million Is at Stake By Pavlo Blavatskyy; Ganna Pogrebna
  4. Who Really Wants to be a Millionaire : Estimates of Risk Aversion from Game Show Data By Hartley, Roger; Lanot, Gauthier; Walker, Ian
  6. Meta-heuristic resource-constrained project scheduling:solution space restrictions and neighbourhood extensions By D. DEBELS; M. VANHOUCKE
  7. Pattern Recognition of Resource-Event-Agent Conceptual Modelling Structures By G. POELS; A. MAES; F. GAILLY; R. PAEMELEIRE
  8. The Mediating Role of Anticipated Guilt in Consumers’ Ethical Decision-Making By S. STEENHAUT; P. VAN KENHOVE
  9. Linking behavioral control to frontline employee commitment and performance: a test of two alternative explanations using motivation theories By K. DEWETTINCK; D. BUYENS
  10. The role of the psychological contract in retention management: Confronting HR-managers’ and employees’ views on retention factors and the relationship with employees’ intentions to stay By A. DE VOS; A. MEGANCK; D. BUYENS

  1. By: Richard R. Nelson
    Abstract: The purpose of the article is to discuss the differences between the evolutionary economic theory and the neoclassical theory from the appreciative viewpoint that aims to capture the basics of what actually is going on, leaving aside formal mathematical modeling in the two theories. As the result, evolutionary theory sees the economy as always in the process of change that involves economic actors taking actions that break from previous behavior, and an environment in continuing flux because of the innovation. While neoclassical theory sees the economy as at rest, or undergoing well anticipated change it has nothing to say about these kinds of conditions. Therefore the author believes the processes of economic catch-up have to proceed under the implicit or explicit guidance of an evolutionary economic theory.
    Date: 2006–01
  2. By: Sophus A. Reinert
    Abstract: A long tradition of thought in Western political philosophy compares the body of man to the political body. This traditional cosmological frame of reference was, with the publication of Darwin’s Origin of Species, overcome by the emergence of evolutionary social systems. Albert Schäffle [1831-1903] can fruitfully be considered the last major representative of the old trajectory of thought, and Thorstein Veblen [1853-1929] the first of the new. By comparing and contrasting their uses of biological metaphors and the places these occupied in their larger visions of society and the economy, the author explores some of the tensions generated in late nineteenth century political philosophy by the dramatic change in biological paradigm—in other words by Darwin’s first encounter with the body politic.
    Date: 2006–05
  3. By: Pavlo Blavatskyy; Ganna Pogrebna
    Abstract: In the television show Affari Tuoi an individual faces a sequence of binary choices between a risky lottery with equiprobable prizes of up to half a million euros and a monetary amount for certain. The decisions of 114 show participants are used to test the predictions of ten decision theories: risk neutrality, expected utility theory, fanning-out hypothesis (weighted utility theory, transitive skew-symmetric bilinear utility theory), (cumulative) prospect theory, regret theory, rank-dependent expected utility theory, Yaari’s dual model, prospective reference theory and disappointment aversion theory. Assumptions of risk neutrality and loss aversion are clearly violated, respectively, by 55% and 46% of all contestants. There appears to be no evidence of nonlinear probability weighting or disappointment aversion. Observed decisions are generally consistent with the assumption of regret aversion and there is strong evidence for the fanning-out hypothesis. Nevertheless, we find no behavioral patterns that cannot be reconciled within the expected utility framework (or prospective reference theory that gives identical predictions).
    Keywords: decision theory, natural experiment, television show, expected utility, nonexpected utility
    JEL: C93 D81
    Date: 2006–06
  4. By: Hartley, Roger (University of Manchester); Lanot, Gauthier (Queen’s University,); Walker, Ian (University of Warwick,)
    Keywords: Risk aversion ; gameshow
    JEL: D81 C93 C23
    Date: 2005
  5. By: Richard Barrett (LSE); Maurice Salles (CREM-CNRS)
    Date: 2006
    Abstract: The resource-constrained project scheduling problem (RCPSP) has been extensively investigated during the past decades. Due to its strongly NP-hard status and the need for solving large realistic project instances, the recent focus has shifted from exact optimisation procedures to (meta-) heuristic approaches. In this paper, we extend some existing state-of-the-art RCPSP procedures in two ways. First, we extensively test a decomposition approach that splits problem instances into smaller sub-problems to be solved with an (exact or heuristic) procedure, and re-incorporates the obtained solutions for the sub-problems into the solution of the main problem, possibly leading to an overall better solution. Second, we study the influence of an extended neighbourhood search on the performance of a meta-heuristic procedure. Computational results reveal that both techniques are valuable extensions and lead to improved results.
    Keywords: Resource-constrained project scheduling; Problem decomposition; Meta-heuristics
    Date: 2006–05
    Abstract: Resource-Event-Agent (REA) ontology-based conceptual modelling is a pattern-based approach to structural business process modelling. This paper hypothesizes that diagrammatic Entity- Relationship (ER) representations of REA ontology-based business process models (REA diagrams) are better understood and perceived to be of higher quality by business professionals than informationally equivalent ER diagrams that do not show REA pattern occurrences (Non-REA diagrams). The theoretical background for these hypotheses are (i) cognitive and perceptual psychology theories that explain why pattern recognition with REA diagrams is likely to occur, and (ii) Cognitive Fit theory that predicts performance effects when there is a good match between the mental and conceptual representations of the information required to solve a problem. An experiment with 124 business students showed that REA diagram users were more accurate than Non-REA diagram users when performing model comprehension tasks. Further, participants perceived a REA diagram as easier to interpret than a Non-REA diagram. Given that participants received minimal REA ontology education (though some of them were trained more intensively), the experiment results provide evidence of pattern recognition taking place. The experiment could not show that pattern recognition is stronger or more frequent when users are more familiar with the patterns (because of additional training).
    Keywords: conceptual model, business domain ontology, modelling pattern, pattern recognition, task performance, model comprehension, Cognitive Fit theory, Semantic Distance, Human-Computer Interaction research, experiment
    Date: 2006–02
    Abstract: In this paper we theorize that the anticipation of guilt plays an important role in ethically questionable consumer situations. We propose an ethical decision-making framework incorporating anticipated guilt as partial mediator between consumers’ ethical beliefs (anteceded by ethical ideology) and intentions. In a first study we compared several models using structural equation modeling and found empirical support for our research model. A second experiment was set up to illustrate how retailers may apply these new insights to prevent consumers from taking advantage. Results showed that enhancing the anticipation of guilt (by making the interpersonal consequences of the unethical act more salient) increased consumers’ ethical intentions, controlling for ethical beliefs. Together these two studies may have important theoretical and managerial contributions.
    Keywords: Anticipated guilt, Ethical beliefs, Ethical decision making, Ethical intentions, Hunt-Vitell model, Idealism, Relativism
    Date: 2006–02
    Abstract: We propose and empirically test a model in which behavioral control is linked to frontline employee commitment and performance. We test two alternative explanations by examining the intermediate role of job autonomy and situational learning orientation. The hypotheses are tested using multiple-source survey data from a sample of 1184 frontline employees and their supervisors. Results indicate that situational learning orientation is an important construct in linking behavioral control to performance. Job autonomy shows to be important in explaining employee outcomes but is only marginally related to behavioral control. Theoretical and managerial implications are discussed.
    Date: 2006–05
    Abstract: This article examines HR managers’ and employees’ views on the factors affecting employee retention. This is done by integrating findings from the literature on retention management with the theoretical framework of the psychological contract. In a first study a sample of HR managers from a diverse group of public and private firms described the factors they believed to affect employee retention and the retention practices set up in their organization. In a second study, a large and diverse sample of employees reported on the importance attached to five types of employer inducements commonly regarded as retention factors. They also evaluated their employers’ delivery of these inducements and provided information on their loyalty, intentions to stay and job search behaviors. The results of both studies are discussed and implications for HR managers are highlighted.
    Date: 2006–03

This nep-cbe issue is ©2006 by Marco Novarese. It is provided as is without any express or implied warranty. It may be freely redistributed in whole or in part for any purpose. If distributed in part, please include this notice.
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