nep-evo New Economics Papers
on Evolutionary Economics
Issue of 2007‒11‒24
four papers chosen by
Matthew Baker
City University of New York

  1. The Focusing and Informational Effects of Norms on Pro-Social Behavior By Erin Krupka; Roberto A. Weber
  2. The Fetters of the Sib: Weber Meets Darwin By Ingela Alger; Jörgen W. Weibul
  3. Affective Decision Making: a Behavioral Theory of Choice By Anat Bracha; Donald J Brown
  4. Do We Need National Champions? If So, Do We Need a Champions-Related Industrial Policy? An Evolutionary Perspective By Oliver Falck; Stephan Heblich

  1. By: Erin Krupka (IZA); Roberto A. Weber (Carnegie Mellon University)
    Abstract: This paper reports an experiment examining the effect of social norms on pro-social behavior. We test two predictions derived from work in psychology regarding the influence of norms. The first is a "focusing"influence, whereby norms only impact behavior when an individual’s attention is drawn to them; and the second is an "informational" influence, whereby a norm exerts a stronger impact on an individual the more others he observes behaving consistently with that norm. We find support for both effects. Either thinking about or observing the behavior of others produces increased pro-social behavior - even when one expects or observes little pro-social behavior on the part of others - and the degree of prosocial behavior is increasing in the actual and expected pro-social behavior of others. This experiment eliminates strategic influences and thus demonstrates a direct effect of norms on behavior.
    Keywords: norms, pro-social behavior, experiments, dictator game
    JEL: D63 C91
    Date: 2007–11
  2. By: Ingela Alger (Department of Economics, Carleton University); Jörgen W. Weibul
    Abstract: We analyze the effects of family ties - "the fetters of the sib" - on the incentives for productive effort. A family is here modelled as a pair of mutually altruistic siblings. Each sibling exerts effort, or makes an investment, to produce output under uncertainty, and siblings may transfer output to each other. We show that altruism has a non-monotonic effect on effort. Equilibrium effort decreases (increases) with altruism at low (high) levels of altruism. We study how this effect depends on climate,the magnitude and volatility of returns to effort. We also analyze the evolutionary robustness of family ties and how this robustness depends on climate. We find that family ties will be stronger in milder climates than in harsher climates, and that the evolutionarily robust degree of altruism is positive but less than one half. Decreased protection of property rights increases the evolutionarily robust degree of altruism.
    Date: 2007–11–13
  3. By: Anat Bracha; Donald J Brown
    Date: 2007–11–15
  4. By: Oliver Falck (Ifo Institute for Economic Research and CESifo); Stephan Heblich (Max Planck Institute of Economics, Entrepreneurship, Growth, and Public Policy Group,)
    Abstract: This paper discusses the role of so-called national champions within the context of the EU's ambitious goal to become the most competitive and dynamic knowledge-based economic region in the world by 2010. We find football to be a useful analogy in our discussion of national champions. There are many different types of football players: veteran performers who are past their prime, young stars who have not yet developed their full potential, fans' darlings, and the actual stars - he key performers. For a team to be consistently successful across time, it needs to maintain the right mix of different types of players, particularly in regard to current and future key performers. What makes a key performer a "real" star is not only extraordinary talent but also, and perhaps even more important, ability to be a team player and inspire others to be the same. Applying this analogy to the economic field, we come to the conclusion that the "real" champions in the business environment serve as network pilots within regional networks. By fostering a dynamic economic environment, they create their own rents, unlike less successful firms who concentrate on unproductive rent seeking and shifting.
    Keywords: national champions, industrial policy, evolutionary economics, systems of innovation
    JEL: L52 O25 O33 P11
    Date: 2007–11–12

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