nep-evo New Economics Papers
on Evolutionary Economics
Issue of 2013‒09‒06
four papers chosen by
Matthew Baker
City University of New York

  1. Do Institutions Affect Social Preferences? Evidence from Divided Korea By Kim, Byung-Yeon; Choi, Syngjoo; Lee, Jungmin; Lee, Sokbae; Choi, Kyunghui
  2. Birthplace Diversity and Economic Prosperity By Alesina, Alberto; Harnoss, Johann; Rapoport, Hillel
  3. The transmission of longevity across generations: The case of the settler Cape Colony By Patrizio Piraino; Sean Muller; Jeanne Cilliers; Johan Fourie
  4. Economic challenges in the Anthropocene By Ignazio Musu

  1. By: Kim, Byung-Yeon (Seoul National University); Choi, Syngjoo (University College London); Lee, Jungmin (Sogang University); Lee, Sokbae (Seoul National University); Choi, Kyunghui (University of Tokyo)
    Abstract: The Cold War division of Korea, regarded as a natural experiment in institutional change, provides a unique opportunity to examine whether institutions affect social preferences. We recruited North Korean refugees and South Korean students to conduct laboratory experiments eliciting social preferences, together with standard surveys measuring subjective attitudes toward political and economic institutions. Our experiments employ widely used dictator and trust games, with four possible group matches between North and South Koreans by informing them of the group identity of their anonymous partners. Experimental behavior and support for institutions differ substantially between and within groups. North Korean refugees prefer more egalitarian distribution in the dictator games than South Korean students, even after controlling for individual characteristics that could be correlated with social preferences; however, two groups show little difference in the trust game, once we control for more egalitarian behavior of North Koreans. North Korean refugees show less support for market economy and democracy than South Korean subjects. Attitudes toward institutions are more strongly associated with the experimental behaviors among South Korean subjects than among North Korean subjects.
    Keywords: social preferences, experiment, institutions, market economy, democracy
    JEL: C92 C93 D03 P20
    Date: 2013–08
  2. By: Alesina, Alberto (Harvard University); Harnoss, Johann (Harvard University); Rapoport, Hillel (Bar-Ilan University)
    Abstract: We use recent immigration data from 195 countries and propose an index of population diversity based on people's birthplaces. This new index is then decomposed into a size (share of foreign born) and a variety (diversity of immigrants) component and is available for 1990 and 2000 disaggregated by skill level. We show that birthplace diversity is largely uncorrelated with ethnic, linguistic or genetic diversity. Our main result is that the diversity of skilled immigration relates positively to economic development (as measured by income and TFP per capita and patent intensity) even after controlling for ethno-linguistic and genetic fractionalization, geography, trade, education, institutions, and origin-effects capturing income/productivity levels in the immigrants home countries. We make progress towards addressing endogeneity by specifying a gravity model to predict the share and diversity of immigration based on exogenous bilateral variables. The results are robust across various OLS and 2SLS specifications and suggestive of skill complementarities between native workers and immigrants, especially when the latter come from richer countries at intermediate levels of cultural proximity.
    Keywords: economic development, cultural diversity, genetic diversity, ethnic diversity, birthplace diversity, productivity, immigration
    JEL: O1 O4 F22 F43
    Date: 2013–08
  3. By: Patrizio Piraino (Department of Economics, University of Cape Town); Sean Muller (Department of Economics, University of Cape Town); Jeanne Cilliers (Department of Economics, University of Stellenbosch); Johan Fourie (Department of Economics, University of Stellenbosch)
    Abstract: The literature on parent-child correlations in socioeconomic status provides little evidence on long-term multigenerational dynamics. This is because most studies of intergenerational status persistence are based on two (at most three) successive generations. Our analysis adds to the intergenerational mobility literature by studying the correlation in longevity across multiple generations of a historical population. By using information on birth and death dates of eighteenth and nineteenth century settlers in South Africa’s Cape Colony, we are able to estimate the intergenerational transmission of longevity, which is found to be positive and significant. Our analysis confirms one of the most consistent findings in the social sciences: the correlation between the status of parents and that of their offspring is positive and significant.
    Keywords: intergenerational mobility, persistence, social mobility, inequality, genealogical, Cape Colony
    JEL: J62 N37
    Date: 2013
  4. By: Ignazio Musu (Department of Economics, University of Venice Cà Foscari)
    Abstract: The evolution during the Anthropocene is analyzed through the interaction between economic and technological development, characterized by the role of fossil fuels and by the progressive dominance of those with a higher energy and density power. The challenge is how to make the rising demand for economic growth, mainly coming from developing and emerging countries, compatible with the sustainability of the processes concerning the Earth system. Mainly by focusing on the energy-environment challenge, it is claimed that the required technological breakthrough will not be possible without an appropriate combination of environmental and innovation policies. The big size of the needed investments in a context of limited financial resources asks for a strong support and definition of precise priorities by the governments. A strong help will come from a cultural change able to determine a more sustainable demand for goods and services and a new system of social norms.
    Keywords: Economic development, Technical Change, Sustainability, Environment, Energy
    JEL: O1 O3 Q4 Q5
    Date: 2013

This nep-evo issue is ©2013 by Matthew Baker. It is provided as is without any express or implied warranty. It may be freely redistributed in whole or in part for any purpose. If distributed in part, please include this notice.
General information on the NEP project can be found at For comments please write to the director of NEP, Marco Novarese at <>. Put “NEP” in the subject, otherwise your mail may be rejected.
NEP’s infrastructure is sponsored by the School of Economics and Finance of Massey University in New Zealand.