nep-evo New Economics Papers
on Evolutionary Economics
Issue of 2010‒01‒10
seven papers chosen by
Matthew Baker
City University of New York

  1. Senescence vs. sustenance: evolutionary-demographic models of aging By Annette Baudisch; James W. Vaupel
  2. Design of stated preference surveys: Is there more to learn from behavioral economics? By Carlsson, Fredrik
  3. Contracting Under Reciprocal Altruism By Shchetinin, Oleg
  4. Why Are Economics Students More Selfish than the Rest? By Bauman, Yoram; Rose, Elaina
  5. Agent-based Computational Economics: a Methodological Appraisal By Paola Tubaro
  6. Punctuated Evolution due to Delayed Carrying Capacity By V.I. Yukalov; E.P. Yukalova; D. Sornette
  7. Social Preferences-Literature Survey. By Jaromir Kovarik

  1. By: Annette Baudisch (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany); James W. Vaupel (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany)
    Abstract: Humans, and many other species, suffer senescence: mortality increases and fertility declines with adult age. Some species, however, enjoy sustenance: mortality and fertility remain constant. Here we develop simple but general evolutionary-demographic models to explain the conditions that favor senescence vs. sustenance. The models illustrate how mathematical demography can deepen understanding of the evolution of aging.
    JEL: J1 Z0
    Date: 2009–12
  2. By: Carlsson, Fredrik (Department of Economics, School of Business, Economics and Law, Göteborg University)
    Abstract: We discuss the design of stated preference (SP) surveys in light of findings in behavioral economics such as context dependence of preferences, learning, and differences between revealed and normative preferences. More specifically, we discuss four different areas: (i) revealed and normative preferences, (ii) learning and constructed preferences, (iii) context dependence, and (iv) hypothetical bias. We argue that SP methods would benefit from adapting to some of the findings in behavioral economics, but also that behavioral economics may gain insights from studying SP methods.<p>
    Keywords: stated preferences; behavioral economics
    JEL: C91 H40 Q51
    Date: 2009–12–09
  3. By: Shchetinin, Oleg (Department of Economics, School of Business, Economics and Law, Göteborg University)
    Abstract: I show that a simple formal model of reciprocal altruism is able to predict human behavior in contracting situations, puzzling when considered within selfishness assumption. For instance, motivation and performance crowding-out are explained by a signaling mechanism in which provision of an extrinsic incentive signals non-generosity of the Principal and decreases Agent’s intrinsic motivation. The model’s equilibrium predicts behavior in the Control Game of Falk and Kosfeld and in a variant of Trust Game by Fehr and Rockenbach. This suggests that reciprocal altruism modeling could be fruitful more generally in applications of contract theory.<p>
    Keywords: Reciprocal Altruism; Extrinsic and intrinsic motivation; Contract Theory; Behavioral Economics.
    JEL: D82 M54
    Date: 2009–12–09
  4. By: Bauman, Yoram (University of Washington); Rose, Elaina (University of Washington)
    Abstract: A substantial body of research suggests that economists are less generous than other professionals and that economics students are less generous than other students. We address this question using administrative data on donations to social programs by students at the University of Washington. Our data set allows us to track student donations and economics training over time in order to distinguish selection effects from indoctrination effects. We find that economics majors are less likely to donate than other students and that there is an indoctrination effect for non-majors but not for majors. Women majors and non-majors are less likely to contribute than comparable men.
    Keywords: altruism, public goods
    JEL: A13 D64
    Date: 2009–12
  5. By: Paola Tubaro
    Abstract: This paper is an overview of "Agent-based Computational Economics (ACE)", an emerging approach to the study of decentralized market economies, in methodological perspective. It summarizes similarities and differences with respect to conventional economic models, outlines the unique methodological characteristics of this approach, and discusses its implications for economic methodology as a whole. While ACE rejoins the reflection on the unintended social consequences of purposeful individual action which is constitutive of economics as a discipline, the paper shows that it complements state-of the-art research in experimental and behavioral economics. In particular, the methods and techniques of ACE have reinforced the laboratory finding that fundamental economic results rely less on rational choice theory than is usually assumed, and have provided insight into the importance of market structures and rules in addition to individual choice. In addition, ACE has enlarged the range of inter-individual interactions that are of interest for economists. In this perspective, ACE provides the economist‘s toolbox with valuable supplements to existing economic techniques rather than proposing a radical alternative. Despite some open methodological questions, it has potential for better integration into economics in the future.
    Keywords: Agent-based Computational Economics, Economic Methodology, Experimental Economics.
    Date: 2009
  6. By: V.I. Yukalov; E.P. Yukalova; D. Sornette
    Abstract: A new delay equation is introduced to describe the punctuated evolution of complex nonlinear systems. A detailed analytical and numerical investigation provides the classification of all possible types of solutions for the dynamics of a population in the four main regimes dominated respectively by: (i) gain and competition, (ii) gain and cooperation, (iii) loss and competition and (iv) loss and cooperation. Our delay equation may exhibit bistability in some parameter range, as well as a rich set of regimes, including monotonic decay to zero, smooth exponential growth, punctuated unlimited growth, punctuated growth or alternation to a stationary level, oscillatory approach to a stationary level, sustainable oscillations, finite-time singularities as well as finite-time death.
    Keywords: Delay equations, Population dynamics, Punctuated evolution
    Date: 2009–05–25
  7. By: Jaromir Kovarik (Universidad de Alicante)
    Abstract: This papeer surveys the theories of social preferences. Social preferences are based on that people not only care about their own well-being, but they have a certain concern whith payoffs and/or actions of others. We classify two approaches: distributional and intention-based models, and later discuss models that combine both theories. In order to provide a better illustration of the discussed models, we derive predictions of these models for two classic experimental protocols: ultimatum game and public good game whith punishment. These predictions are compared with the stylized facts of these two games.
    Date: 2009–09–08

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