nep-cbe New Economics Papers
on Cognitive and Behavioural Economics
Issue of 2007‒12‒01
nine papers chosen by
Marco Novarese
University of the Piemonte Orientale

  1. Generalized Darwinism in Evolutionary Economics: The Devil is in the Details By Jack Vromen
  2. Work organization and preferences dynamics By Victor Hiller
  3. Behavioral Foundations for Conditional Markov Models of Aggregate Data By Douglas Miller
  4. Productivity and innovation: an overview of the issues By Petr Hanel
  5. From “This Job Is Killing me” to “I Live in the life I Love and I Love the Life I Live”, or from Stakhanov to Contemporary Workaholics By Cunha, Miguel Pina e; Cardoso, Carlos Cabral; Rego, Armenio; Clegg, Stwart
  6. Endogenous selection of aspiring and rational rules in coordination games By Dziubinski, Marcin; Roy, Jaideep
  7. An Agent-Based Model of Behavior in “Beauty Contest” Games By Mark W. Nichols; Michael J. Radzicki
  8. Decisions about Pap tests: What influences women and providers? By Denzil Fiebig; Marion Haas; Ishrat Hossain; Rosalie Viney
  9. Economics for marketing revisited By Ana Isabel Costa; Cesaltina Pires

  1. By: Jack Vromen
    Abstract: Hodgson and Knudsen want their version of Generalized Darwinism to meet two /desiderata. /First, their formulation of Darwinism should be sufficiently general and abstract, so that it only refers to general, domain-unspecific features that processes of biological and of socio-cultural evolution have in common with each other. Their formulation should leave out features of Darwinism that are specific to the biological domain only. Second, their version should be able to guide the development of theories that can causally explain processes of economic evolution. Hodgson and Knudsen argue that the latter – going from their abstract and general formulation of Darwinism to such full-fledged economic theories – is a matter of adding details that are specific to the economic domain. Both desiderata seem reasonable. Yet they pull in opposite directions. It is argued that in order to meet the first desideratum the formulation of Darwinism should be so general and abstract that it is bereft of any substance and content and, as such, of little use in guiding further theory development. If going from such a formulation to a full-fledged economic theory is called a matter of adding details, the devil surely is in the details.
    Keywords: Length 26 pages
    Date: 2007–11
  2. By: Victor Hiller (CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - CNRS : UMR8174 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - Paris I)
    Abstract: We present a model with intergenerational transmission of preferences providing a joint explanation of preference evolution and of work organization changes in a society. We focus on the preference for autonomy, defined as an individual's degree of initiative and the value they attach to self direction. We show that the economy has several steady states with different levels of worker autonomy and of the degree of coercion in the work place. The Industrial Revolution and the recent return of flexible forms of organization enable us to illustrate the existence of organizational path dependency. Indeed, the current technological shocks, impacting on the long-run distribution of preferences, modify the future possibilities of adoption of new organizational forms.
    Keywords: Cultural transmission, work organization, industrial revolution, historical path dependency.
    Date: 2007–08
  3. By: Douglas Miller (Department of Economics, University of Missouri-Columbia)
    Abstract: Conditional Markov chain models of observed aggregate sharetype data have been used by economic researchers for several years, but the classes of models commonly used in practice are often criticized as being purely ad hoc because they are not derived from microbehavioral foundations. The primary purpose of this paper is to show that the estimating equations commonly used to estimate these conditional Markov chain models may be derived from the assumed statistical properties of an agentspecific discrete decision process. Thus, any conditional Markov chain model estimated from these estimating equations may be compatible with some underlying agentspecific decision process. The secondary purpose of this paper is to use an information theoretic approach to derive a new class of conditional Markov chain models from this set of estimating equations. The proposed modeling framework is based on the behavioral foundations but does not require specific assumptions about the utility function or other components of the agentspecific discrete decision process. The asymptotic properties of the proposed estimators are developed to facilitate model selection procedures and classical tests of behavioral hypotheses.
    Keywords: controlled stochastic process, Frechet derivative, firstorder Markov chain, CressieRead power divergence criterion
    JEL: C40 C51
    Date: 2007–09–01
  4. By: Petr Hanel (CIRST, GREDI, Faculte d'administration, Université de Sherbrooke)
    Abstract: To introduce the subject, the paper compares the Canadian performance on principal indicators of productivity and innovation with the U.S. and other countries. Follows an overview of principal sources of economic welfare, economic growth and increasing productivity with a special attention given to the relationship between productivity growth and innovation. Before addressing the relationship between innovation and productivity, the paper introduces the concepts and their operational measures or indicators, the sources of innovation and their effects as well as financing and public policies in support of innovation. In the section on the link between innovation and productivity the paper surveys the representative empirical studies of this relationship on industry and enterprise level, including the evidence on private and social returns on investment in R&D and innovation in Canada and abroad. Follows a description of the current econometric modelling of micro-data on innovation and its effect on firm performance. These innovation surveys-based micro econometric studies are inspired by the four-stage CDM model that predicts (1) the probability that a firm innovates, (2) the resources it invests in the activity, (3) the commercial results of innovation and (4) the effect of innovation on firms’ performance indicators such as sales per employee, labour productivity and its growth etc. This model provides the standardized methodology for an ongoing international research project analyzing the data from innovation surveys of majority of OECD countries.
    Keywords: Innovation, R&D, productivity, econometric modelling, Canada
    JEL: D24 L6 O47
    Date: 2007
  5. By: Cunha, Miguel Pina e; Cardoso, Carlos Cabral; Rego, Armenio; Clegg, Stwart
    Abstract: F. W. Taylor is often celebrated as a founding father of organization and management theory, one whose commitment to efficiency is legendary. If we define efficiency in terms of maximizing output from a given – or lesser – number of workers it can be considered that, in some cases, Taylor’s science has achieved a remarkable success. Contemporary organizations managed to create such a state of commitment (be it spontaneous or imposed), that people have adopted excessive working as lifestyle. Life is organized around work, with work occupying more and more territory from the former private life. We discuss the notion of excessive working, present several forms of excessive working, contest the idea that excessive working is necessarily noxious, suggest a dynamic understanding of the different forms of excessive working, and challenge researchers critically to discuss their practical success. As the saying goes, there can be too much of a good thing.
    Date: 2007
  6. By: Dziubinski, Marcin; Roy, Jaideep
    Abstract: The paper studies an evolutionary model where players from a given population are randomly matched in pairs each period to play a co- ordination game. At each instant, a player can choose to adopt one of the two possible behavior rules, called the rational rule and the as- piring rule, and then take actions prescribed by the chosen rule. The choice between the two rules depends upon their relative performance in the immediate past. We show that there are two stable long run outcomes where either the rational rule becomes extinct and all play- ers in the population achieve full eciency, or that both the behavior rules co-exist and there is only a partial use of ecient strategies in the population. These ndings support the use of the aspiration driven behavior in several existing studies and also help us take a comparative evolutionary look at the two rules in retrospect.
    Keywords: Co-evolution; Aspirations; Best-response; Random matching; Coordination games
    JEL: C73 C72
    Date: 2007–11–25
  7. By: Mark W. Nichols (Department of Economics, University of Nevada, Reno); Michael J. Radzicki (Department of Social Science and Policy Studies, Worcester Polytechnic Institute)
    Abstract: Recently, computer simulation, particularly agent-based modeling, has grown in popularity as a method to uncover macro patterns and developments that emerge from simple micro behavior. The present paper combines both techniques by using protocol analysis to uncover player strategies in an experiment and encoding those strategies in an agent-based computer simulation. In particular, Keynes’ (1936) beauty contest analogy is simulated in a number-guessing context. Several researchers have conducted experiments asking subjects to play “p-beauty contest games” in order to compare the experimental results with those predicted by the game-theoretic, deductive reasoning concept of iterated dominance. Our results are compared with those found experimentally in order to demonstrate the usefulness of a combining agent-based modeling with protocol analysis.
    Keywords: Agent-Based modeling; Beauty contest games
    JEL: C15 E12
    Date: 2007–11
  8. By: Denzil Fiebig (University of NSW); Marion Haas (CHERE, University of Technology, Sydney); Ishrat Hossain (CHERE, University of Technology, Sydney); Rosalie Viney (CHERE, University of Technology, Sydney)
    Abstract: Despite the success internationally of cervical screening programs debate continues about optimal program design. This includes increasing participation rates among under-screened women, reducing unnecessary early re-screening, improving accuracy of and confidence in screening tests, and determining the cost-effectiveness of program parameters, such as type of screening test, screening interval and target group. For all these issues, information about consumer and provider preferences and insight into the potential impact of any change to program design on consumer and provider behaviour are essential inputs into evidence-based health policy decision making. This paper reports the results of discrete choice experiments to investigate women?s choices and providers? recommendations in relation to cervical screening in Australia. Separate experiments were conducted with women and general practitioners, with attributes selected to allow for investigation of interaction between women?s and providers? preferences and to determine how women and general practitioners differ in their preferences for common attributes. The results provide insight into the agency relationship in this context. Our results indicate a considerable commonality in preferences but the alignment was not complete. Women put relatively more weight on cost, chance of a false positive and if the recommended screening interval were changed to one year.
    Keywords: Cervical Screening; Discrete choice experiments; Agency relationships, Consumer preferences
    JEL: I10
  9. By: Ana Isabel Costa (Universidade de Évora – Departamento de Gestão e Aarhus School of Business – Department of Marketing and Statistics); Cesaltina Pires (Universidade de Évora – Departamento de Gestão)
    Abstract: This paper aims to provide evidence supporting the following: that recent theoretical, empirical and methodological advances in microeconomics are decisive to the progress of marketing science. That such a notion is not yet mainstream and uncontroversial, we contend, is more due to insufficient knowledge dissemination and outdated perceptions about irreconcilable differences between economists and psychologists than to lack of intrinsic value or cognitive appeal. Evidence is provided by describing these advances in a concise manner, showing how they can contribute to tackle complex marketing issues and providing examples from published matter in which this contribution already takes place.
    Keywords: Marketing Science, Economic Psychology, Behavioral Economics, Experimental Economics
    JEL: M31 A11
    Date: 2007

This nep-cbe issue is ©2007 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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