nep-evo New Economics Papers
on Evolutionary Economics
Issue of 2010‒02‒05
three papers chosen by
Matthew Baker
City University of New York

  1. An Evolutionary Theory of Household Consumption Behavior By Nelson, Richard; Consoli, Davide
  2. A Model of Ideological Transmission with Endogenous Paternalism By Paolo MELINDI GHIDI
  3. Behavioral Economic Concepts To Encourage Healthy Eating in School Cafeterias: Experiments and Lessons From College Students By Just, David R.; Wansink, Brian; Mancino, Lisa; Guthrie, Joanne

  1. By: Nelson, Richard; Consoli, Davide
    Abstract: Evolutionary economics badly needs a behavioral theory of household consumption behavior, but to date only limited progress has been made on that front. Partly because Schumpeter's own writings were focused there, and partly because this has been the focus of most of the more recent empirical work on technological change, modern evolutionary economists have focused on the "supply side". However, because a significant portion of the innovation going on in capitalist countries has been in the form of new consumer goods and services, it should be obvious that dealing coherently with the Schumpeterian agenda requires a theory which treats in a realistic way how consumers respond to new goods and services. The purpose of this essay is to map out a broad alternative to the neoclassical theory of consumer behavior.
    Keywords: Household Consumption Behaviour; Evolutionary Economics
    JEL: D11 O33 D83
    Date: 2010–01–22
  2. By: Paolo MELINDI GHIDI (UNIVERSITE CATHOLIQUE DE LOUVAIN, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES) and Universitµa degli Studi di Bologna, DSE, Bologna, Italy)
    Abstract: We develop a dynamic framework of ideological evolution in a two-trait population of perfect foresight individuals. We model how children are educated to a specific ideological trait, liberal or traditional, which later in life will influence the level of economic activity and therefore the well-being of the family. Our aim is to study the dynamics of ideological traits when an exchange matching process takes place. We show that the ideological distance between groups, namely taste for similarity within the family, determines the long-run distribution of traits as well as the intertemporal parents' behaviour in the intergenerational transmission process. With respect to the existing works on cultural transmission, the singularity of our model appears through the situation in which parents' paternalism in children education is a necessary but not a sufficient condition to guarantee diversity or preservation of heterogeneity in the long run distribution of traits. In particular, when the taste for similarity within the family is sufficiently low, the intertemporal evolution of traits modifies the trade-off between preservation of ideological beliefs and exchange level in the matching process. Hence, when the opportunity cost to have children of the same type is high, altruistic parents do not promote their variant even though their are biased towards their own ideological beliefs. Assuming myopic agents does not change the qualitative results of the model
    Keywords: Ideological Transmission, Taste for Similarity, Paternalism, Diversity
    JEL: Z13 J10
    Date: 2009–12–15
  3. By: Just, David R.; Wansink, Brian; Mancino, Lisa; Guthrie, Joanne
    Abstract: Changing small factors that influence consumer choice may lead to healthier eating within controlled settings, such as school cafeterias. This report describes a behavioral experiment in a college cafeteria to assess the effects of various payment options and menu selection methods on food choices. The results indicate that payment options, such as cash or debit cards, can significantly affect food choices. College students using a card that prepaid only for healthful foods made more nutritious choices than students using either cash or general debit cards. How and when individuals select their food can also influence food choices. College students who preselected their meals from a menu board made significantly different food choices than students who ordered their meals while viewing the foods in line.
    Keywords: Behavioral economics, healthy eating, diet quality, food choices, school meal programs, experimental economics, ERS, USDA., Agricultural and Food Policy, Food Consumption/Nutrition/Food Safety, Health Economics and Policy, Institutional and Behavioral Economics, Teaching/Communication/Extension/Profession,
    Date: 2008–12

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