nep-evo New Economics Papers
on Evolutionary Economics
Issue of 2014‒08‒28
seven papers chosen by
Matthew Baker
City University of New York

  1. Evolutionary Economics and Household Behavior By Charles Yuji Horioka
  2. Altruism and Self Control By Anna Dreber; Drew Fudenberg; David K Levine; David G Rand
  3. Estimating Time Preferences from Convex Budgets: Comment on Normality and Impatience By Calford, Evan; Chakraborty, Anujit; Fenig, Guidon; Halevy, Yoram
  4. Is it a Norm to Favour Your Own Group? By Donna Harris; Benedikt Herrmann; Andreas Kontoleon; Jonathan Newton
  5. Dynamic Selection: An Idea Flows Theory of Entry, Trade and Growth By Thomas Sampson
  6. The Economic Approach to Fertility: A Causal Mediation Analysis By Gauthier T. Kashalala and Steven F. Koch
  7. The Math Gender Gap: The Role of Culture By Nollenberger, Natalia; Rodríguez-Planas, Núria; Sevilla, Almudena

  1. By: Charles Yuji Horioka
    Abstract: This paper provides an introduction to the field of evolutionary economics with emphasis on the evolutionary theory of household behavior. It shows that the goal of evolutionary economics is to improve upon neoclassical economics by incorporating more realistic and empirically grounded behavioral assumptions and technological innovation and that the goal of the evolutionary theory of household behavior is to improve upon the neoclassical theory of household behavior by replacing the neoclassical assumption of selfish utility maximization with bounded rationality and satisficing and by incorporating the reaction of households to the introduction of new goods and services. The paper concludes with a brief discussion of loss aversion and self-interest vs. altruism.
    Date: 2014–08
  2. By: Anna Dreber; Drew Fudenberg; David K Levine; David G Rand
    Date: 2014–08–07
  3. By: Calford, Evan; Chakraborty, Anujit; Fenig, Guidon; Halevy, Yoram
    Abstract: We evaluate Andreoni and Sprenger's (2012) data for demand, wealth and impatience monotonicity. We find that violations for all three measures are concentrated in subjects who make interior choices and thereby take advantage of the novel feature of Andreoni and Sprenger's experimental design. Wealth monotonicity violations are more prevalent and pronounced than either demand or impatience monotonicity violations. We believe that the frequency and magnitude of monotonicity violations pose a challenge to rationalizing choices with a utility function whose corresponding demand satisfies the three monotonicity conditions.
    Keywords: design of experiments
    JEL: C91 D90
    Date: 2014–08–07
  4. By: Donna Harris; Benedikt Herrmann; Andreas Kontoleon; Jonathan Newton
    Abstract: This paper examines the relationship between norm enforcement and in-group favouritism behaviour.� Using a new two-stage allocation experiment with punishments, we investigate whether in-group favouritism is considered as a social norm in itself or as a violation of a different norm, such as egalitarian norm.� We find that which norm of behaviour is enforced depends on who the punisher is.� If the punishers belong to the in-group, in-group favouritism is considered a norm and it does not get punished.� If the punishers belong to the out-group, in-group favouritism is frequently punished.� If the punishers belong to no group and merely observe in-group favouritism (the third-party), they do not seem to care sufficiently to be willing to punish this behavour.� Our results shed a new light on the effectiveness of altruistic norm enforcement when group identities are taken into account and help to explain why in-group favouritism is widespread across societies.
    Keywords: In-group Favouritism, Group Identity, Social Norms, In-group Punishment, Out-group Punishment, Third-party Punishment
    JEL: C92 D70 D73
    Date: 2014–08–15
  5. By: Thomas Sampson
    Abstract: This paper develops an idea flows theory of trade and growth with heterogeneous firms. New firms learn from incumbent firms, but the diffusion technology ensures entrants learn not only from frontier technologies, but from the entire technology distribution. By shifting the productivity distribution upwards, selection on productivity causes technology diffusion and this complementarity generates endogenous growth without scale effects. On the balanced growth path, the productivity distribution is a traveling wave with an increasing lower bound. Growth of the lower bound causes dynamic selection. Free entry mandates that trade liberalization increases the rates of technology diffusion and dynamic selection to offset the profits from new export opportunities. Consequently, trade integration raises long-run growth. The dynamic selection effect is a new source of gains from trade not found when firms are homogeneous. Calibrating the model implies that dynamic selection approximately triples the gains from trade relative to heterogeneous firm economies with static steady states.
    Keywords: International trade, firm heterogeneity, technology diffusion, endogenous growth
    JEL: F12 O41
    Date: 2014–08
  6. By: Gauthier T. Kashalala and Steven F. Koch
    Abstract: This study develops an economic fertility model which explicitly incorporates both the costs of childrearing and contraception behaviour. In this setting, a couple capacity to procreate depends on their fecundity, as well as their contraception and sexual behaviours; and the ideal number of children is chosen by maximizing the utility of children, subject to a budget constraint reflecting the couple's income, and their specific explicit and implicit costs of rearing children. Using a non-parametric causal mediation framework (Pearl, 2009; Heckman and Pinto, 2013), our analysis explicitly explores the role of family planning services and the cost of children in mediating the causal effect of income on fertility, subject to unmeasurable fecundity and unobserved sexual risk taking behaviour. In particular, we discuss the definition, identification and estimation of a variety of causal effects, namely, the direct income effect, the contraception effect, and price effect.
    Keywords: Fertility, Mediation analysis
    JEL: C14 D13 I38 J13 J38
    Date: 2014
  7. By: Nollenberger, Natalia (Queen Mary, University of London); Rodríguez-Planas, Núria (Queens College, CUNY); Sevilla, Almudena (Queen Mary, University of London)
    Abstract: This paper explores the role of cultural attitudes towards women in determining math educational gender gaps using the epidemiological approach. To identify whether culture matters, we estimate whether the math gender gap for each immigrant group living in a particular host country (and exposed to the same host country's laws and institutions) is explained by measures of gender equality in the parents' country of ancestry. We find that the higher the degree of gender equality in the country of ancestry, the higher the performance of second-generation immigrant girls relative to boys. This result is robust to alternative specifications, measures of gender equality and the inclusion of other human development indicators in the country of ancestry. The transmission of culture is higher among those in schools with a higher proportion of immigrants or in co-educational schools. Our results suggest that policies aimed at changing beliefs can prove effective in reducing the gender gap in mathematics.
    Keywords: gender gap in math, immigrants, gender identity
    JEL: I21 I24 J16 Z13
    Date: 2014–08

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