nep-evo New Economics Papers
on Evolutionary Economics
Issue of 2013‒12‒20
six papers chosen by
Matthew Baker
City University of New York

  1. Temporary Workers Are Not Free-Riders: An Experimental Investigation By D. Dragone; F. Galeotti; R. Orsini
  2. Social Mobility at the Top: Why Are Elites Self-Reproducing? By Elise S. Brezis; Joël Hellier
  3. Robust Multiplicity with a Grain of Naiveté By Aviad Heifetz; Willemien Kets
  4. An effective replicator equation for games with a continuous strategy set By Ruijgrok, Matthijs; Ruijgrok, Theo
  5. Post-Malthusian Dynamics in Pre-Industrial Scandinavia By Marc Patrick Brag Klemp; Niels Framroze Møller
  6. Gender Discrimination in Property Rights By M. Casari; M. Lisciandra

  1. By: D. Dragone; F. Galeotti; R. Orsini
    Abstract: We conduct an artefactual field experiment to study whether the individual preferences and propensity to cooperate of temporary workers differ from permanent contract workers. We find that temporary and permanent contract workers have different other-regarding preferences, but display similar contribution patterns in an anonymous Public Good Game. Students, instead, are more selfish and contribute less than temporary and permanent workers.
    JEL: C72 C93 D23 H41 J54
    Date: 2013–12
  2. By: Elise S. Brezis (Bar-Ilan University); Joël Hellier
    Abstract: This paper proposes an explanation for the decrease in social mobility that has occurred in the last two decades in a number of advanced economies, as well as for the divergence in mobility dynamics across countries. Within an intergenerational framework, we show that a two-tier higher education system with standard and elite universities generates social stratification, high social immobility and self-reproduction of the elite. Moreover, we show that the higher the relative funding for elite universities, the higher the elite self-reproduction, and the lower social mobility. We also analyse the impacts of changes in the weight of the elite and of the middle class upon social mobility. Our findings provide theoretical bases for the inverted-U profile of social mobility experienced in several countries since World War II and to the ‘Great Gatsby Curve’ relating social mobility to inequality.
    Keywords: Elite, Higher Education, Selection, Social mobility, Social stratification
    JEL: I21 J62 O15 Z13
    Date: 2013–12
  3. By: Aviad Heifetz; Willemien Kets
    Abstract: In an important paper, Weinstein and Yildiz (2007) show that if players have an innite depth of reasoning and this is commonly believed, types generically have a unique rationalizable action in games that satisfy a richness condition. We show that this result does not extend to environments where players may have a finite depth of reasoning, or think it is possible that the other player has a finite depth of reasoning, or think that the other player may think that is possible, and so on, even if this so-called "grain of naivete" is arbitrarily small. More precisely, we show that even if there is almost common belief in the event that players have an infinite depth of reasoning, there are types with multiple rationalizable actions, and the same is true for "nearby" types. Our results demonstrate that both uniqueness and multiplicity are robust phenomena when we relax the assumption that it is common belief that players have an infinite depth, if only slightly.
    Keywords: Bounded rationality, finite depth of reasoning, global games, higher-order beliefs, generic uniqueness, robust multiplicity JEL Classification: C700, C720, D800, D830
    Date: 2013–12–11
  4. By: Ruijgrok, Matthijs; Ruijgrok, Theo
    Abstract: The replicator equation for a two person symmetric game, which has an interval of the real line as strategy space, is extended with a mutation term. Assuming that the distribution of the strategies has a continuous density, a partial differential equation for this density is derived. The equation is analysed for two examples. A connection is made with Adaptive Dynamics.
    Keywords: Evolutionary games; Replicator equation; Mutation; Dynamic stability; Partial differential equations
    JEL: C72 C73
    Date: 2013–12–13
  5. By: Marc Patrick Brag Klemp; Niels Framroze Møller
    Abstract: Theories of economic growth hypothesize that the transition from pre-industrial stagnation to sustained growth is associated with a post-Malthusian phase in which technological progress raises income and spurs population growth while offsetting diminishing returns to labour. Evidence suggests that England was characterized by post-Malthusian dynamics preceding the Industrial Revolution. However, given England's special position as the forerunner of the Industrial Revolution, it is unclear if a transitory post-Malthusian period is a general phenomenon. Using data from Denmark, Norway and Sweden, this research provides evidence for the existence of a post-Malthusian phase in the transition from stagnation to growth in Scandinavia
    Keywords: Demography, Post-Malthusian Dynamics, Malthus, Pre-Industrial Scandinavia, Demographic Transition, Economic Growth
    Date: 2013
  6. By: M. Casari; M. Lisciandra
    Abstract: In the Middle Ages women in the Italian Alps had substantially more rights on collective properties than in the Modern Age. The documental evidence shows a progressive erosion of women’s rights and a convergence toward gender-biased inheritance systems. We tracked the evolution of inheritance regulations on collective land in the peasant communities of Trentino over a period of six centuries (13th-19th). Considering a panel of hundreds of communities, we provide a long-term perspective of institutional change. When population pressure increased, a patrilineal system emerged as a protective measure to preserve the per-capita endowment of collective properties within a community. This study raises general issues about the role of local level versus centralized decision-making in delivering gender equality and about the long-term trade-off between the protection of common resources and a healthy genetic pool at the community level.
    JEL: J16 N53 Q20
    Date: 2013–12

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