nep-evo New Economics Papers
on Evolutionary Economics
Issue of 2006‒05‒20
six papers chosen by
Matthew Baker
US Naval Academy, USA

  1. Group Cooperation Under Alternative Peer Punishment Technologies: An Experiment. By Casari, Marco; Luini, Luigi
  2. Peer Punishment in Teams: Emotional or Strategic Choice? By Casari, Marco; Luini, Luigi
  3. Punishment, Inequality and Emotions By David Masclet; Marie-Claire Villeval
  4. Generalized Trust and Sustainable Coexistence between Socially Responsible Firms and Non Profit Organizations By Angelo Antoci; Marcello Galeotti; Russu; Zarri
  5. The Emergence and Evolution of Social Pacts: A Provisional Framework for Comparative Analysis By Avdagic, Sabina; Rhodes, Martin; Visser, Jelle
  6. Learning and equilibrium selection in a coordination game with heterogeneous agents By Alberto Fogale; Paolo Pellizzari; Massimo Warglien

  1. By: Casari, Marco; Luini, Luigi
    Abstract: This paper experimentally studies peer punishment under three alternative technologies. We find that the choice of peer punishment technology has a substantial impact on group performance. First, under technology where at least two subjects in the group must agree before another group member can be punished, group cooperation and group net earnings are the highest. Second, outcomes are similar regardless of whether punishment choices are simultaneously or sequential. These results suggest that punishment is not perceived as a second-order public good but is instead an emotional reaction unresponsive to changes in the strategic environment.
    Keywords: decentralized punishment ; public goods ; other-regarding preferences ; team production ; experiments
    JEL: C91 C92 D23
    Date: 2005–05
  2. By: Casari, Marco; Luini, Luigi
    Abstract: Punishing the free-riders of a team can promote group efficiency but is costly for the punisher. For this reason, economists see punishment as a second-order public good. We show in an experiment that subjects do not value punishment for its deterrence but instead for the satisfaction of retaliating. Punishment choices are made with little strategic reasoning.
    Keywords: experiments ; public goods ; informal punishment ; emotions ; legal systems
    JEL: C91 C92 D23
    Date: 2006–04
  3. By: David Masclet (CNRS, CREM, University of Rennes 1); Marie-Claire Villeval (GATE (CNRS, University of Lyon 2, ENS-LSH) and IZA Bonn)
    Abstract: Cooperation among people who are not related to each other is sustained by the availability of punishment devices which help enforce social norms (Fehr and Gächter, 2002). However, the rationale for costly punishment remains unclear. This paper reports the results of an experiment investigating inequality aversion and negative emotions as possible determinants of punishment. We compare two treatments of a public good game, one in which costly punishment reduces the immediate payoff inequality between the punisher and the target, and one in which it does not affect inequality. We show that while inequality-aversion prevents some subjects from punishing in the equal cost treatment, negative emotions are the primary motive for punishment. Results also indicate that the intensity of punishment increases with the level of inequality, and reduces earnings inequality over time.
    Keywords: inequality aversion, negative emotions, free-riding, cooperation, experiment
    JEL: A13 C92 D63
    Date: 2006–05
  4. By: Angelo Antoci (University of Sassari); Marcello Galeotti (University o Firenze); Russu (University of Sassari); Zarri (Department of Economics (University of Verona))
    Abstract: In this paper, we focus on a speci¯c component of economically rel- evant trust, i.e. on what we call `institutionally produced generalized trust', de¯ned as the amount of widespread trust (which is a public good for the economic system as a whole) endogenously and continuously gen- erated by the interaction of two types of private organizations operating in the economy: for-pro¯t ¯rms and nonpro¯t organizations. Through an evolutionary model with a trust accumulation equation and two replicator equations (capturing the evolution of economic organizations over time) we show that (1) The ¯xed point where all the four sub-types of private organizations considered in the model are simultaneously present can be attractive only if `virtuous' for-pro¯ts (i.e. socially responsible ¯rms) and `virtuous' nonpro¯ts (i.e. actually trustworthy mission-oriented organiza- tions) generate a negative externality on the other organizations of the same type. (2) The ¯xed point where the level of trust is very low and no socially responsible ¯rms neither trustworthy organizations are present can be attractive; this social con¯guration interestingly recalls, to some extent, what some prominent social scientists depict as a trend currently occurring in the United States. (3) A socio-economic scenario where four pure population ¯xed points are simultaneously attractive exists.
    Date: 2005–07
  5. By: Avdagic, Sabina; Rhodes, Martin; Visser, Jelle
    Abstract: This paper provides the scientific framework for the NEWGOV project Distributive Politics, Learning and Reform. In Part I, we establish our own definition and conceptualization of social pacts. We distinguish four types of pacts with different scope and depth: shadow pacts, headline pacts, coordinated wage setting, and embedded pacts akin to neocorporatist concertation. Part II is concerned with institutional formation, i.e. how such social pacts come into existence. We outline some standard functionalist accounts of institutional emergence, and critically examine them before proposing an alternative bargaining model. Part III is concerned with institutional development, i.e. what determines the continuation and institutionalization of social pacts or their de-institutionalization and demise. Based on the taxonomy of social pacts presented in Part I, we define two alternative evolutionary paths for social pacts (institutionalization and de-institutionalization), and identify three types of trajectory along which social pacts develop (repetition vs. abandonment; integration vs. disintegration; and expansion vs. reduction). We then outline four alternative mechanisms that may potentially drive the institutionalization or de-institutionalization of pacts. Grounded in the four major approaches for analysing institutions, i.e. the functionalist, utilitarian, normative, and power-distributional perspectives, this section proposes four groups of hypotheses to be evaluated in our empirical research.
    Keywords: comparative public policy; political economy; sociological institutionalism; corporatism; policy learning; policy networks; organization theory; interest intermediation
    Date: 2005–09–19
  6. By: Alberto Fogale; Paolo Pellizzari; Massimo Warglien (Department of Applied Mathematics, University of Venice)
    Abstract: We study a modified version of the coordination game presented in [van Huyck et al., 1994], where a representative selection dynamics was proposed to explain experimental data. Assuming that the agents adjust their moves in the direction of the best response, we derive a formal analysis of the stability of the equilibria. We show by simulation that the interior equilibrium is robustly reached even when considerable heterogeneity is allowed among the agents. Our truly multi-agent game is capable of approximating quite well both the ãmedianä game convergence and the experimental data.
    Keywords: Coordination game, Equilibrium selection, Best reply dynamics
    JEL: C71 D83 C63 C15
    Date: 2006–05

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