nep-evo New Economics Papers
on Evolutionary Economics
Issue of 2014‒04‒05
nine papers chosen by
Matthew Baker
City University of New York

  1. Do we need to worry if people bowl alone? Results from a field experiment with voluntary association members By Giacomo Degli Antoni
  2. Institutions as game theory outcomes: toward a cognitive-experimental inquiry By Ambrosino, Angela
  3. My parents taught me. Evidence on the family transmission of values By Giuseppe Albanese; Guido de Blasio; Paolo Sestito
  4. The Economics of the Gift By David Reinstein;
  5. Growth and Violence: Argument for a Per Capita Measure of Civil War By Hannes Mueller
  6. Identities and Ideals: Psychoanalytic Dialogues of Self and Leadership By Gazi Islam
  7. Constrained Interactions and Social Coordination By Mathias Staudigl; Simon Weidenholzer
  8. Metaphors and Analogies in Institutional Economic Theory By Frolov, Daniil; Lavrentyeva, Anna
  9. Imitation under stress By Buckert, Magdalena; Oechssler, Jörg; Schwieren, Christiane

  1. By: Giacomo Degli Antoni (University of Parma, Department of Law)
    Abstract: Trust in strangers is key for economic development. Social capital theory posits that participation in associations is essential to propagate trust in society, because membership instils trust both towards other members and generalised others. We provide an experimental test for this thesis. We measure members' trust and trustworthiness when interacting with fellow members or with people from the general population, who are not association members. We find that members trust and reward trust more than non- members, and do not discriminate between members and the general population. However, we find no correlation between the intensity of associational participation and increased pro-sociality.Length: 17
    Keywords: trust; voluntary associations; ingroup favouritism; field experiment
    JEL: C93 D71 D69 D03
    Date: 2014–04
  2. By: Ambrosino, Angela
    Abstract: The paper investigates two different approaches to the analysis of institutions using game theory and discusses their methodological and theoretical implications for further research. Starting from von Neumann and Morgenstern’s theory, we investigate how game theory has been applied to the analysis of institutions, these being considered, as in Hayek (1967, 1988a) as the unplanned outcomes of self-interested individual behavior. We focus on Schotter’s (1981) and Schelling’s (1960) alternative approaches. The different ways in which these authors use von Neumann and Morgenstern’s concepts of coalition and indeterminacy of solutions play an important role in explaining the spontaneous emergence of institutions from interaction. We argue that this issue is also of importance in explaining how Schotter and Schelling’s theories fit with the main features of Hayek's theory of institutions.
    Keywords: Institutions, Game Theory, Cognition, Hayek, Schotter, Schelling
    JEL: B40 B31 B52 B20
    Date: 2009
  3. By: Giuseppe Albanese (Bank of Italy); Guido de Blasio (Bank of Italy); Paolo Sestito (Bank of Italy)
    Abstract: The paper uses questions included in the 2010 wave of the Bank of Italy’s Survey on Household Income and Wealth to investigate the role of family transmission of values. It presents three main empirical findings. First, the paper shows that a number of attitudes (generalized and personalized trusting behaviour, risk and time preferences) and outcomes (female labour force participation, fertility, entrepreneurship, productivity) are associated with the values received. Second, it documents that values received from parents are correlated with the values transmitted to descendants. Third, by using respondent moving patterns the paper highlights that there is little evidence that the values received are affected by the local environment before they are passed on further. This evidence is consistent with the idea that family transmission is a channel for historical persistence.
    Keywords: family, cultural transmission, values
    JEL: Z1 D10 C83
    Date: 2014–03
  4. By: David Reinstein;
    Abstract: This essay broadly considers gifts, giving and gift economies, modern and pre-modern, from a mainstream (and behavioural) economics perspective.
    Date: 2014–03–01
  5. By: Hannes Mueller
    Abstract: This article proposes a new measure of civil war. The measure defines violence intensity in casualties per capita instead of number of casualties. We discuss the assumptions behind this per capita model and the existing standard model. We show that the two measures behave differently in standard growth regressions and argue that this is because the standard model is a mis-specification in this context. Casualties appear to affect growth more in smaller populations. We argue that a debate on the right model can help distinguish between competing theories in the conflict literature. This is particularly relevant given the current development of new micro-data in this field.
    Keywords: civil war, conflict, growth
    JEL: D74 O11 O47
    Date: 2014–03
  6. By: Gazi Islam (MC - Management et Comportement - Grenoble École de Management (GEM))
    Abstract: The author contextualizes recent developments in socio-cognitive approaches to leadership by drawing on psychoanalytic conceptions of self-identity. It is argued that psychoanalytic views of the self are complementary to contemporary social-cognitive approaches, although historical divergences in these literatures have impeded mutual dialogue. This initiative at dialogue examines charismatic, schema, and self- identity theories of leadership within a psychoanalytic framework, arguing that when self-identity is viewed broadly, convergences between these approaches become apparent. A broad view of the self makes notions of authority central to the construction of personal identities, underscores the ambivalence and relationality of self-processes, and highlights the normative assumptions underlying followership that may be difficult to theorize with contemporary socio-cognitive approaches.
    Keywords: Identity; charisma; leadership; self-concept
    Date: 2014
  7. By: Mathias Staudigl; Simon Weidenholzer
    Abstract: We consider a co-evolutionary model of social coordination and network formation where agents may decide on an action in a 2x2 - coordination game and on whom to establish costly links to. We find that a payoff domination convention is selected for a wider parameter range when agents may only support a limited number of links as compared to a scenario where agents are not constrained in their linking choice. The main reason behind this result is that whenever there is a small cluster of agents playing the efficient strategy other players want to link up to those layers and choose the efficient action.
    Date: 2014–02–01
  8. By: Frolov, Daniil; Lavrentyeva, Anna
    Abstract: The article presents the critical review of physical and biological metaphors in the institutional economic theory. It is proved that physical (including mechanistic) analogies are most adequate for the associative characteristic of a statics and kinetics of institutional systems, and biological – for the figurative description of their evolution. Efficiency of use of metaphors and analogies from the most developed, vanguard areas of natural-science researches is shown.
    Keywords: metaphors, institutionalism, institutions, path dependence, vacuum, field, impurities, niche construction, transplantation, genetics, evolution
    JEL: B52
    Date: 2014
  9. By: Buckert, Magdalena; Oechssler, Jörg; Schwieren, Christiane
    Abstract: Imitating the best strategy from the previous period has been shown to be an important heuristic, in particular in relatively complex environments. In this experiment we test whether subjects are more likely to use imitation if they are under stress. Subjects play a repeated Cournot oligopoly. Treatments are time pressure within the task and distractions through a second task (a Stroop-task) that has to be performed as well and influences payment. We measure stress levels through salivary cortisol measurements and through measuring the heart rate. Our main findings are that time pressure and distraction can indeed raise physiological stress levels of subjects within our task. More importantly from an economic perspective, we can also observe a corresponding behavioral change that is indicative of imitation.
    Keywords: stress; cortisol; heart rate; imitation; experiment.
    Date: 2014–03–21

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