nep-evo New Economics Papers
on Evolutionary Economics
Issue of 2009‒12‒11
five papers chosen by
Matthew Baker
City University of New York

  1. Kinship, Incentives and Evolution By Ingela Alger; Jörgen Weibull
  2. The evolutionary dynamics of tolerance By Correani, Luca; Di Dio , Fabio; Garofalo, Giuseppe
  3. Third-party Punishment is more effective on Women: Experimental Evidence By Pablo Brañas-Garza; Stefania Ottone
  4. "Do the Right Thing:" The Effects of Moral Suasion on Cooperation By Ernesto Dal Bó; Pedro Dal Bó
  5. Sustainable coalitions in the commons By Luc DOYEN (CNRS - CERSP); Jean-Christophe PEREAU (GREThA UMR CNRS 5113)

  1. By: Ingela Alger (Carleton University - Department of Economics); Jörgen Weibull (SSE - Department of Economics - Stockholm School of Economics, Department of Economics, Ecole Polytechnique - CNRS : UMR7176 - Polytechnique - X)
    Abstract: We analyze how family ties affect incentives, with focus on the strategic interaction between two mutually altruistic siblings. The siblings exert effort to produce output under uncertainty, and they may transfer output to each other. With equally altruistic siblings, their equilibrium effort is non-monotonic in the common degree of altruism, and it depends on the harshness of the environment. We define a notion of local evolutionary stability of degrees of sibling altruism, and show that this degree is lower than the kinship-relatedness factor. Numerical simulations show how family ties vary with the environment, and how this a¤ects economic outcomes.
    Keywords: altruism, family ties, free-riding, empathy, Hamilton's rule, evolutionary stability.
    Date: 2009
  2. By: Correani, Luca; Di Dio , Fabio; Garofalo, Giuseppe
    Abstract: This paper incorporates the phenomenon of tolerance, as the ability to accept diversity, into an economic analysis showing how different aptitudes to trust and cooperation can affect economic outcomes. In the economic system we propose, tolerance is associated with the different weight that agents attribute to their own nature and to the institutional parameters in their utility function. We thus construct a model of overlapping generations, showing that the incentives that influence descendants’ predisposition to tolerance depend on both institutional factors, where behaviour is imposed by rules, and on social (or cultural) factors, found in popular customs and established traditions. Our study highlights the absolute impossibility of affirming tolerance through formal rules. In fact, intolerance is a persistent attitude and its control is only possible through constant and continuous interventions on the educational processes of new generations (intolerance trap).
    Keywords: Tolerance; Evolutionary dynamics; Imperfect empathy
    JEL: O17 D02 Z13
    Date: 2009
  3. By: Pablo Brañas-Garza (Department of Economic Theory and Economic History, University of Granada.); Stefania Ottone (Department of Economics, University of Milano-Bicocca)
    Abstract: Existing experimental studies mainly focus on motivations and choices of thirdparty punishers, but only few of them detect sanction efficacy contradictory results. Our paper wants to shed light on this point. In particular, we want to detect whether the threat of being punished for unfair actions is credible and affects subjects’ choices thus, making it rational to behave fairly. To disentangle the effect of expected punishment on behaviour, we implement in the lab two experimental games - the standard Dictator Game, that is used as baseline, and the Third-Party Punishment Game that incorporates a third player who observes and may punish the Dictator. The idea is that, if the Dictator in treatment TPP believes punishment is a credible threat, s/he may decide to change her/his behaviour, that is, to behave generously in order to avoid sanctions. We find a clear gender bias: women reacted to the punishment threat by increasing their transfer to the Recipient, while men did exactly the opposite.
    Date: 2009–11–20
  4. By: Ernesto Dal Bó; Pedro Dal Bó
    Abstract: The use of moral appeals to affect the behavior of others is pervasive (from the pulpit to ethics classes) but little is known about the effects of moral suasion on behavior. In a series of experiments we study whether moral suasion affects behavior in voluntary contribution games and mechanisms by which behavior is altered. We find that observing a message with a moral standard according to the golden rule or, alternatively, utilitarian philosophy, results in a significant but transitory increase in contributions above the levels observed for subjects that did not receive a message or received a message that advised them to contribute without a moral rationale. When players have the option of punishing each other after the contribution stage the effect of the moral messages on contributions becomes persistent: punishments and moral messages interact to sustain cooperation. We investigate the mechanism through which moral suasion operates and find it to involve both expectation- and preference-shifting effects. These results suggest that the use of moral appeals can be an effective way of promoting cooperation.
    JEL: C9 H41
    Date: 2009–12
  5. By: Luc DOYEN (CNRS - CERSP); Jean-Christophe PEREAU (GREThA UMR CNRS 5113)
    Abstract: It is well known that the non-cooperation among agents harvesting a renewable resource is critical for its sustainable management. The present paper gives insights on the complex balance between coalitions structure, resource state or dynamics and agents’ heterogeneity to avoid bio-economic collapses. A model bringing together coalition games and a viability approach is proposed to focus on the compatibility between bio-economic constraints and an exploited common stock dynamics. It is examined to what extent cooperation promotes sustainability. Based on the Shapley value, a measure of the marginal contribution of the users to the sustainability of the resource is proposed. It suggests that the stability of the grand coalition occurs for large enough stocks. By contrast, for lower levels of resource, the most efficient user plays the role of a dictator.
    Keywords: Renewable resource, dynamic game, coalition, maxmin strategy, shapley value, viability kernel
    JEL: Q20
    Date: 2009

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