nep-evo New Economics Papers
on Evolutionary Economics
Issue of 2012‒07‒08
ten papers chosen by
Matthew Baker
City University of New York

  1. Retaliation and the Role for Punishment in the Evolution of Cooperation By Irenaeus Wolff
  2. Heterogeneous Reactions to Hoterogneity in Returns from Public Goods By Urs Fischbacher; Simeon Schudy; Sabrina Teyssier
  3. Honestly, why are you donating money to charity? An experimental study about self-awareness in status- seeking behavior By Mitesh Kataria; Tobias Regner
  4. Interactive and Moral Reasoning: A Comparative Study of Response Times By Pablo Branas-Garza; Debrah Meloso; Luis Miller
  5. Between Progressivism and Institutionalism Albert Benedict Wolfe on Eugenics By Luca Fiorito
  6. On social and economic spheres: an observation of the “gantangan” Indonesian tradition By Situngkir, Hokky; Prasetyo, Yanu Endar
  7. The role of reciprocation in social network formation, with an application to blogging By Alexia Gaudeul; Caterina Giannetti
  8. Sen meets Schumpeter: Introducing structural and dynamic elements into the human capability approach By Hartmann, Dominik
  9. Time Consistency: Stationarity and Time Invariance By Halevy, Yoram
  10. Status-seeking and economic growth: the Barro model revisited. By Thi Kim Cuong Pham

  1. By: Irenaeus Wolff (Thurgau Institute of Economics at the University of Konstanz, Department of Economics, Germany)
    Abstract: Models of evolutionary game theory have shown that punishment may be an adaptive behaviour in environments characterised by a social-dilemma situation. Experimental evidence closely corresponds to this finding but questions the cooperation-enhancing effect of punishment if players are allowed to retaliate against their punishers. This study provides a theoretical explanation for the existence of retaliating behaviour in the context of repeated social dilemmas and analyses the role punishment can play in the evolution of cooperation under these conditions. We show a punishing strategy can pave the way for a partially-cooperative equilibrium of conditional cooperators and defecting types and, under positive mutation rates, foster the cooperation level in this equilibrium by prompting reluctant cooperators to cooperate. However, when rare mutations occur, it cannot sustain cooperation by itself as punishment costs favour the spread of non-punishing cooperators
    Keywords: Public goods, Prisoner's Dilemma, Strong reciprocity, Counterpunishment
    JEL: C73 C72 H41
    Date: 2012–06–29
  2. By: Urs Fischbacher (Thurgau Institute of Economics at the University of Konstanz, Department of Economics, Germany); Simeon Schudy (Thurgau Institute of Economics at the University of Konstanz, Department of Economics, Germany); Sabrina Teyssier (Thurgau Institute of Economics at the University of Konstanz, Department of Economics, Germany)
    Abstract: In many cases individuals benefit differently from the provision of a public good. We study in a laboratory experiment how heterogeneity in returns and uncertainty affects unconditional and conditional contribution behavior in a linear public goods game. The elicitation of conditional contributions in combination with a within subject design allows us to investigate belief-independent and type-specific reactions to heterogeneity. We find that, on average, heterogeneity in returns decreases unconditional contributions but does not affects conditional contributions only weakly. Uncertainty in addition to heterogeneity reduces conditional contributions slightly. Individual reactions to heterogeneity differ systematically. Selfish subjects and one third of conditional cooperators do not react to heterogeneity whereas the reactions of the remaining conditional cooperators vary. A substantial part of heterogeneity in reactions can be explained by inequity aversion which accounts for different reference groups subjects compare to
    Keywords: public goods, social preferences, conditional cooperation, heterogeneity
    JEL: C91 C72 H41
    Date: 2012–03–31
  3. By: Mitesh Kataria (Max Planck Institute of Economics, Jena, Germany); Tobias Regner (Max Planck Institute of Economics, Jena, Germany)
    Abstract: This study investigates experimentally whether people in retrospective are self-aware that they engage in status-seeking behavior. Subjects participated in a real-effort task where effort translated into a donation to a charity. Within-subjects we varied the visibility of their performance (private/public feedback). On average subjects exerted more effort in the public treatment. After the real effort task subjects were asked to state their retrospective beliefs about their performance in public given feedback about their performance in private, and about the performance of other subjects in public given the average performance in private. Between-subjects we varied the compensation (low/high) for accurate estimates. Our results show a lack of self-awareness about status-seeking behavior that is robust to increased belief compensation. We also found that subjects expected others to be as status-seeking as they are themselves or even less.
    Keywords: Social status, self-image, self-awareness, self-deception, experiment, beliefs
    JEL: C91 D03 D84
    Date: 2012–07–02
  4. By: Pablo Branas-Garza; Debrah Meloso; Luis Miller
    Abstract: We use response time (RT) and behavioral data from two different but related games to test the hypothesis that individuals use introspection when confronted with a new strategic situation. Our results confirm that the need to reflect about the possible behavior of the other player (interactive thought) has an important role in the mental processes present in strategic interactions. We also find that players with longer response times have distributions of behavior that are more dispersed than for faster players. This suggests that the longest RTs across games correspond to thought dedicated to the resolution of moral dilemmas and not to guessing the likely behavior of other players in order to maximize own payoff.
    Date: 2012
  5. By: Luca Fiorito
    Abstract: Albeit concerned with the biological element in social evolution, Albert B. Wolfe was among the very few economists of the progressive era who openly expressed his concerns about certain implications of eugenic rhetoric for the social science. Specifically, Wolfe questioned the strong hereditary boundaries that more extreme eugenicists suggested about human beings. As I will attempt to show in paper, a careful examination of Wolfe’s writings reveals that his reaction was rooted in the belief that many of the social problems which eugenicists attributed to hereditary limitations, were actually imputable to the influence that the social, economic, and physical environment exercised on the individuals.
    Keywords: Eugenics; Institutionalism; Social Evolution; Progressivism; Wolfe, Albert Benedict
    JEL: B1 B15
    Date: 2012–06
  6. By: Situngkir, Hokky; Prasetyo, Yanu Endar
    Abstract: Indonesian traditional villagers have a tradition for the sake of their own social and economic security named “nyumbang”. There are wide variations of the traditions across the archipelago, and we revisit an observation to one in Subang, West Java, Indonesia. The paper discusses and employs the evolutionary game theoretic insights to see the process of “gantangan”, of the intertwining social cohesion and economic expectation of the participation within the traditional activities. The current development of the “gantangan” tradition is approached and generalized to propose a view between the economic and social sphere surrounding modern people. The interaction between social and economic sphere might be seen as a kind of Lokta-Volterra’s predator-prey-like interaction, where both are conflicting yet in a great necessity one another for the sustainability of the social life. While some explanations due to the current development of “gantangan” is drawn, some aspects related to traditional views complying the modern life with social and economic expectations is outlined.
    Keywords: social and economic sphere; traditional village ecology; evolutionary game theory; social security
    JEL: C78 I0 B52 H0 J0 A14
    Date: 2012–06–22
  7. By: Alexia Gaudeul (Max Planck Institute of Economics, Jena); Caterina Giannetti (bRoyal Holloway, University of London)
    Abstract: This paper deals with the role of reciprocation in the formation of individuals' social networks. We follow the activity of a panel of bloggers over more than a year and investigate the extent to which initiating a relation brings about its reciprocation. We adapt a standard capital investment model to study how reciprocation affects the build-up of the individual social capital of bloggers, as measured by their links and interactions with others. This allows us to measure the role of content production and relationship building in the dynamics of online social networks and to distinguish between the social networking and media aspects of blogging.
    Keywords: Blogs, Friendship, LiveJournal, Reciprocation, Social Capital, Social Networks
    JEL: C33 D85 L82
    Date: 2012–06–22
  8. By: Hartmann, Dominik
    Abstract: This paper argues for the necessity and potential of introducing Schumpeter's understanding of economic development as structural change into Amartya Sen's people-oriented development as freedom approach. Sen and other authors on social choice, human development and inequality have effectively promoted - through the United Nations Development Programme - that the expansion of human agency, well-being and capabilities are the means and ends of development (Sen, 1999). However, this approach has lead to a neglect of structural and technological aspects of economic systems such as social network dynamics, technological progress and the structural changes in the variety and balance of economic activities. Innovation driven socioeconomic change has decisive influences on the capabilities of the actors to be active agents in the development processes. For instance, the variety of economic sectors in a country and the access to information and finance networks determine occupational choices and learning opportunities. Economic diversification and social network dynamics follow evolutionary paths that can contribute to human development, but also intrinsically drive success-breeds-success mechanisms and inequality reproduction. Therefore, an agent oriented evolutionary theory of inequality and qualitative change has to take these structural features of economic development into account. --
    Date: 2012
  9. By: Halevy, Yoram
    Abstract: A sequence of experiments documents static and dynamic "preference reversals" between sooner-smaller and later-larger rewards, when the sooner reward could be immediate. The theoretically-motivated design permits separate identification of time-consistent, stationary and time-invariant choices. Half of the subjects are time consistent, but only two-thirds of them exhibit stationary choices. About half of subjects with time inconsistent choices have stationary preferences. These results challenge the view that present-bias preferences are the main source of time inconsistent choices.
    Keywords: Discounting, dynamic consistency, present bias, stability
    JEL: D03 D81 D91 C91
    Date: 2012–06–24
  10. By: Thi Kim Cuong Pham
    Abstract: This paper reexamines the Barro growth model taking into account status-seeking behavior. Agents care about both consumption and social status, which is determined by their relative consumption in society. Public capital as production input is financed by income tax or lumpsum tax. We discuss different measures to reach the optimal growth and optimal welfare in a decentralized economy and find that under some parameter conditions, there are some government sizes for which the decentralized growth is optimal, and this result does not require corrective taxation policy. We also find the superiority of income tax versus lump-sum tax from the point of view of optimal growth in a decentralized economy and of social welfare. Besides, we propose corrective tax programs with constant capital tax or subsidy and time-varying consumption tax that enable an economy to reach the first-best optimal growth. The extension to a congestion model modifies somewhat the results. We discuss conditions under which the first-best or the secondbest optimal growth is attained in a decentralized economy.
    Keywords: Corrective tax, endogenous growth, public expenditure, relative consumption, status-seeking.
    JEL: D90 H21 H50 O41
    Date: 2012

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