New Economics Papers
on Computational Economics
Issue of 2006‒11‒04
three papers chosen by

  1. A genetic algorithm for the partial binary constraint satisfaction problem: an application to a frequency assignment problem By Kolen Antoon
  2. Selection matters By Paolo Pin
  3. The Parental Leave Benefit Reform in Germany : Costs and Labour Market Outcomes of Moving towards the Scandinavian Model By C. Katharina Spieß; Katharina Wrohlich

  1. By: Kolen Antoon (METEOR)
    Abstract: We describe a genetic algorithm for the partial constraint satisfaction problem. The typical elements of a genetic algorithm, selection, mutation and cross-over, are filled in with combinatorial ideas. For instance, cross-over of two solutions is performed by taking the one or two domain elements in the solutions of each of the variables as the complete domain of the variable. Then a branch-and-bound method is used for solving this small instance. When tested on a class of frequency assignment problems this genetic algorithm produced the best known solutions for all test problems. This feeds the idea that combinatorial ideas may well be useful in genetic algorithms.
    Keywords: Economics ;
    Date: 2006
  2. By: Paolo Pin (Department of Applied Mathematics, University of Venice)
    Abstract: To test for the adaptive optimization of risk attitudes, we use a simple model of preferences among lotteries, where agents evolve with a Genetic Algorithm. We find that the genetic selection operator are fundamental in determining the outcomes of the simulations, along with the possibility of iterate choices in a single generation and an eventual factor of heritage across generations (all innocuous technical parameters at a first sight). Different choices of these mechanisms may easily lead to opposite behaviors, from risk aversion to even risk love. The simulations give a hint on the possible implications of the different selection operators, when trying to model the evolution of risk attitudes in different social and economic settings.
    Keywords: Risk preferences, genetic algorithm
    JEL: C61 D81
    Date: 2006–09
  3. By: C. Katharina Spieß; Katharina Wrohlich
    Abstract: Germany is known to have one of the lowest fertility rates among Western European countries and also relatively low employment rates of mothers with young children. Although these trends have been observed during the last decades, the German public has only recently begun discussing these issues. In order to reverse these trends, the German government recently passed a reform of the parental leave benefit system in line with the Scandinavian model. The core piece of the reform is the replacement of the existing means-tested parental leave benefit by a wage-dependent benefit for the period of one year. In this paper we simulate fiscal costs and expected labour market outcomes of this reform. Based on a micro-simulation model for Germany we calculate first-round effects, which assume no behavioural changes and second-round effects, where we take labour supply changes into account. Our results show that on average all income groups, couples and single households, benefit from the reform. The calculation of overall costs of the reform shows that the additional costs are moderate. As far as the labour market behaviour of parents is concerned, we find no significant changes of labour market outcomes in the first year after birth. However, in the second year, mothers increase their working hours and labour market participation significantly. Our results suggest that the reform will achieve one of its aims, namely the increase in the labour market participation of mothers with young children.
    Keywords: female labour supply, parental leave, micro simulation study
    Date: 2006

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