nep-evo New Economics Papers
on Evolutionary Economics
Issue of 2011‒07‒27
fifteen papers chosen by
Matthew Baker
City University of New York

  1. Preferences for Consistency By Falk, Armin; Zimmermann, Florian
  2. Social Status and Influence: Evidence from an Artefactual Field Experiment on Local Public Good Provision By d'Adda, Giovanni
  3. Behavioral Properties of the Representative Agent. By Jouini, Elyès; Napp, Clotilde
  4. Becoming oneself through trials: a framework for identity work research. By Pezé Stéphan
  5. Framing and Misperceptions in a Public Good Experiment By Toke Fosgaard; Lars Gårn Hansen; Erik Wengström
  6. What drives failure to maximize payoffs in the lab ? A test of the inequality aversion hypothesis. By Nicolas Jacquemet; Adam Zylbersztejn
  7. The Harmonic Theory; A mathematical framework to build intelligent contextual and adaptive computing, cognition and sensory system By Nick Mehrdad Loghmani
  8. Growth on a Finite Planet: Resources, Technology and Population in the Long Run By Pietro Peretto; Simone Valente
  9. Development and Religious Polarization: The Emergence of Reform and Ultra-Orthodox Judaism By Jean-Paul Carvalho; Mark Koyama
  10. The impact of inter-group relationships on intra-group cooperation. A case study in rural India. By Girard, Victoire
  11. Population, land and growth By Claire Loupias; Bertrand Wigniolle
  12. Religiosity as a determinant of happiness By Opfinger, Matthias; Grundlach, Erich
  13. Stubborn Learning By Jean-François Laslier; Bernard Walliser
  14. Anti-Malthus: Evolution, Population, and the Maximization of Free Resources By David K Levine; Salvatore Modica
  15. The Effect of the Consumption of the Cultural Services on the Quality of Life By Ercsey, Ida

  1. By: Falk, Armin (University of Bonn); Zimmermann, Florian (University of Bonn)
    Abstract: This paper studies how a preference for consistency can affect economic decision-making. We propose a two-period model where people have a preference for consistency because consistent behavior allows them to signal personal and intellectual strength. We then present three experiments that study main predictions and implications of the model. The first is a simple principal-agent experiment that shows that consistency is valued by others and that this value is anticipated. The second experiment underlines the crucial role of early commitment for consistency preferences. Finally we show how preferences for consistency can be used to manipulate choices.
    Keywords: consistency preferences, experiments, early commitment, charitable giving, social influence
    JEL: C91 D64
    Date: 2011–07
  2. By: d'Adda, Giovanni
    Abstract: I look at the effect of social status on transmission of pro-social behavior. In an artefactual field experiment conducted in northern Colombia I observe contribution to local biodiversity conservation. The design varies whether choice is observable or not and social status of observing/observed individuals. Status is derived from a social ranking exercise identifying formal and moral leaders within the community. I find that leaders have higher valuation of the common good and that their giving is less volatile in the face of exposure to participants contributing lower amounts. Social information on others giving is particularly effective when low status participants are able to observe leaders' choices. I interpret the results as evidence in favor of preference-based altruism and upward social comparison theories. The findings confirm those of laboratory experiments on status in a field setting and with naturally occurring leaders. The study has relevant policy implications in terms of targeting of development programs and questions the commonly held negative view of elites in developing countries. --
    Date: 2011
  3. By: Jouini, Elyès; Napp, Clotilde
    Abstract: In this paper, we show that behavioral features can be obtained at a group level when the individuals of the group are heterogeneous enough. More precisely, starting from a standard model of Pareto optimal allocations, with expected utility maximizers and exponential dis- counting, but allowing for heterogeneity among agentsíbeliefs and time preference rates, we show that the representative agent exhibits interesting behavioral properties. In particular, we obtain an inverse S-shaped probability distribution weighting function and hyperbolic discounting. We provide possible interpretation as well as applications for this result.
    Keywords: Hyperbolic Discounting; Behavioral Agent; Neurofinance; Representative Agent; Probability Weighting Function;
    JEL: D87 H43 D84 D81 G11
    Date: 2011
  4. By: Pezé Stéphan (DRM - Dauphine Recherches en Management - CNRS : UMR7088 - Université Paris Dauphine - Paris IX)
    Abstract: This paper aims to offer a new way to think and to study identity work in relation with organizational identity regulation attempts and a deeper understanding of both the several facets of materiality of identity work and the agency/structure interplays in this process. The current growing body of studies about identity work is useful to understand how the self become. However, these studies encounter some limits, especially the lack of contextualization of individuals' identity work vis-à-vis broader cultural and social structures and their organizational diffraction or the overemphasis on discourses at the expense of other identity resources, whereof material artefacts and embodied practices. To overcome these limits, this paper intends to offer a framework based on the concept of trials designed by the French sociologist Danilo Martuccelli, which are ‗historical challenges, socially produced, culturally represented, unequally distributed, that individuals must face' (Araujo and Martuccelli, 2010:8). I argue that when facing an identity trial, an organizational member measure himself and this can be a useful framework to think identity work and to overtake the limits underlined above. Methodological implications of this perspective - identity trials as analytical lens to study identity work - are further discussed.
    Date: 2011–07–11
  5. By: Toke Fosgaard (Institute of Food and Resource Economics, University of Copenhagen); Lars Gårn Hansen (Institute of Food and Resource Economics, University of Copenhagen); Erik Wengström (Department of Economics, University of Lund; Department of Economics, University of Copenhagen)
    Abstract: Earlier studies have found that a substantial part of the contributions in public good games can be explained by subjects misperceiving the game's incentives. Using a large-scale public good experiment, we show that subtle changes in how the game is framed substantially affect such misperceptions and that this explains major parts of framing effect on subjects' behavior. When controlling for the different levels of misperception between frames, the framing effect on subjects' cooperation preferences disappears. This suggests that merely changing how tax-, fine- or subsidy systems are framed, without reducing complexity, could reduce welfare loss from misperception of incentives.
    Keywords: Public goods, Cooperation, Misperception, Game form recognition, Framing effects, Internet experiment
    JEL: C90 H41
    Date: 2011–07
  6. By: Nicolas Jacquemet (Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne - Paris School of Economics); Adam Zylbersztejn (Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne)
    Abstract: In experiments based on the Beard and Beil (1994) game, second movers very often fail to select the decision that maximizes both players payoff. This note reports on a new experimental treatment, in which we neutralize the potential effect of inequality aversion on the likelihood of this behavior. We show this behavior is robust to this change, even after allowing for repetition-based learning.
    Keywords: Coordination failure, laboratory experiments, aversion to inequality.
    JEL: C72 D83
    Date: 2011–06
  7. By: Nick Mehrdad Loghmani
    Abstract: Harmonic theory provides a mathematical framework to describe the structure, behavior, evolution and emergence of harmonic systems. A harmonic system is context aware, contains elements that manifest characteristics either collaboratively or independently according to system's expression and can interact with its environment. This theory provides a fresh way to analyze emergence and collaboration of "ad-hoc" and complex systems.
    Date: 2011–07
  8. By: Pietro Peretto; Simone Valente
    Abstract: We study the interactions between technological change, resource scarcity and population dynamics in a Schumpeterian model with endogenous fertility. There exists a pseudo-Malthusian equilibrium in which population is constant and income grows exponentially: the equilibrium population level is determined by resource scarcity but is independent of technology. The stability properties are driven by (i) the income reaction to increased resource scarcity and (ii) the fertility response to income dynamics. If labor and resources are substitutes in production, income and fertility dynamics are self-balancing and the pseudo-Malthusian equilibrium is the global attractor of the system. If labor and resources are complements, income and fertility dynamics are self-reinforcing and drive the economy towards either demographic explosion or human extinction. Introducing a minimum resource requirement, we obtain a second steady state implying constant population even under complementarity. The standard result of exponential population growth appears as a rather special case of our model.
    Keywords: Endogenous Innovation, Resource Scarcity, Population Growth, Fertility Choices
    JEL: E10 L16 O31 O40
    Date: 2011
  9. By: Jean-Paul Carvalho; Mark Koyama
    Abstract: Jewish emancipation in nineteenth century Europe produced drastically different responses. In Germany, a liberal variant known as Reform developed, while ultra-Orthodox Judaism emerged in eastern Europe. We develop a model of religious organization which explains this polarization. In developed regions, religious authorities embrace the prospect of cultural integration by relaxing probhibitions and benfitting from greater financial contributions. In poorer regions, religious authorities adopt a strategy of cultural resistance, enforcing prohibitions to elicit greater contributions of effort. In regions of intermediate development, religious schisms and cycles occur. This analytic narrative sheds light on how economic development can lead to cultural change.
    Keywords: Club goods, religious polarization, Community, Jewish emancipation
    JEL: D23 N33 Z12 J24
    Date: 2011
  10. By: Girard, Victoire
    Abstract: We study the impact of inter-group relationships, with inter-group distance, on intra-group cooperation behavior for Indian rural households. This is an application to a real world case of some experimental results of the identity economics literature. This literature offers insight of channels through which inter-group relationships affect in-group actions, with identification to the in-group, and the resulting norm enforcement behavior. We proxy distance with differences of returns to attributes to one traditionally low status group (the Scheduled Castes, SC, standing for traditionally so-called untouchables), compared to the rest of the population (reference group). We then study the effect of this distance variable on in-group cooperation. In our data set, a cooperative behavior corresponds to the involvement in a collective action for water supply. Inter-group relationships appear to have the expected effect on intra-group cooperation for SC and households: the worst inter-group relationships, the more intra-group cooperation. --
    Date: 2011
  11. By: Claire Loupias (EPEE - Centre d'Etudes des Politiques Economiques - Université d'Evry-Val d'Essonne, CEPII - Centre d'Etudes Prospectives et d'Informations Internationales); Bertrand Wigniolle (CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - CNRS : UMR8174 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - Paris I, EEP-PSE - Ecole d'Économie de Paris - Paris School of Economics - Ecole d'Économie de Paris)
    Abstract: This paper suggests a new explanation for changes in economic and population growth with a long run perspective, emphasizing the role of land in the development process. Starting from a pre-industrialization state called the "Malthusian regime&qot;, land and labor are the main production factors. The size of population is limited by the quantity of land available for households and by incomes. Technical progress driven by a "Boserupian effect" may push the economy towards a take-off regime. In this regime, capital accumulation begins and a "learning-by-doing" effect in production takes over from the "Boserupian effect". If this effect is strong enough, the economy can reach an "ultimate growth regime". In the different phases, land plays a crucial role.
    Keywords: Endogenous fertility, land, endogenous growth.
    Date: 2011–02
  12. By: Opfinger, Matthias; Grundlach, Erich
    Abstract: We find a U-shaped relation between happiness and religiosity in cross-country panel data after controlling for income levels. At a given level of income, the same level of happiness can be reached with high and low levels of religiosity, but not with intermediate levels. A rise in income causes an increase in happiness along with a decline of religiosity. Our interpretation of the empirical results is that the indifference curves for religiosity and other commodities of the utility function are hump-shaped. --
    Keywords: Happiness,religiosity,utility function,long-run development
    JEL: I31 Z12 O11
    Date: 2011
  13. By: Jean-François Laslier (Department of Economics, Ecole Polytechnique - CNRS : UMR7176 - Polytechnique - X); Bernard Walliser (EEP-PSE - Ecole d'Économie de Paris - Paris School of Economics - Ecole d'Économie de Paris)
    Abstract: The paper studies a specific reinforcement learning rule in two-player games when each player faces a unidimensional strategy set. The essential feature of the rule is that a player keeps on incrementing her strategy in the same direction if and only if her utility increases. The paper concentrates on games on the square [0; 1] x [0; 1] with bilinear payoff functions such as the mixed extensions of 2 x 2 games. It studies the behavior of the system in the interior as well as on the borders of the strategy space. It precisely exhibits the trajectories of the system and the asymptotic states for symmetric, zero-sum, and twin games.
    Date: 2011–07–19
  14. By: David K Levine; Salvatore Modica
    Date: 2011–07–17
  15. By: Ercsey, Ida
    Abstract: The objective of this article is to explore how the cultural participation influences on the evaluation of the consumers' quality of life. First, we study the concept of the quality of life comparing two approaches to the evaluation of the individual subjective well-being. We carried out a qualitative study six mini-focus group interviews were conducted among adult consumers in a Hungarian Region. Based on our results we explored the main components of the quality of life by subjective evaluation. The consumers make their perception to the culture on several ranges, and stages. Finally, we give the frame to the quantitative research.
    Keywords: focus group interview; cultural services; well being; quality of life
    Date: 2011

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