nep-evo New Economics Papers
on Evolutionary Economics
Issue of 2006‒02‒05
two papers chosen by
Matthew Baker
US Naval Academy, USA

  1. An Evolutionary Economic Analysis of Energy Transitions By Jeroen Van den Bergh; Frans Oosterhuis
  2. They Come to Play: Supply Effects in an Economic Experiment By Jeffrey Carpenter; Allison Liati; Brian Vickery

  1. By: Jeroen Van den Bergh; Frans Oosterhuis
    Abstract: Evolutionary economics offers clear insights into the mechanisms that underlie innovations, structural change and transitions. It is therefore of great value for the framing of policies aimed at fostering a transition to a sustainable development. This paper offers an overview of the main insights of evolutionary economics and derives core concepts, namely ‘diversity’, ‘innovation’, ‘selection environment’, ‘bounded rationality’, ‘path dependence and lock-in’, and ‘coevolution’. These concepts are subsequently used to formulate guidelines for the role of the government and the design of public policies, such as the learning from historical technological pathways and the creation of an extended level playing field. In addition, the developments of certain energy technologies are examined in detail within the adopted evolutionary economics framework. Three particular technologies received attention, namely fuel cells, nuclear fusion, and photovoltaic cells.
    Date: 2005–08
  2. By: Jeffrey Carpenter; Allison Liati; Brian Vickery
    Abstract: Our experiment challenges the standard, social preference, interpretation of choices in the double blind dictator game. In our bilateral treatment both groups are endowed with $20, any fraction of which can be passed to a randomly determined player in the other group. Because both groups have $20 to start, neither inequality aversion nor altruism should motivate people to give. Despite this, the allocations in this treatment are identical to our replication of the standard double blind game implying that altruism might be the wrong interpretation of giving. Instead, we hypothesize that giving might be driven by participants coming to the lab ready “to play.” The fact that there is a strong correlation between participant responses to an attention deficit, hyperactivity disorder questionnaire and both the rate and level of giving provides direct support for this hypothesis. We also show that having players earn their endowments attenuates the bias.
    Keywords: experiment, social preference, altruism, dictator game, impulsivity, demand effect
    JEL: C91
    Date: 2006–02

This nep-evo issue is ©2006 by Matthew Baker. 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.
General information on the NEP project can be found at For comments please write to the director of NEP, Marco Novarese at <>. Put “NEP” in the subject, otherwise your mail may be rejected.
NEP’s infrastructure is sponsored by the School of Economics and Finance of Massey University in New Zealand.