nep-evo New Economics Papers
on Evolutionary Economics
Issue of 2015‒01‒31
eight papers chosen by
Matthew Baker
City University of New York

  1. Religious fragmentation, social identity and cooperation: Evidence from a artefactual field experiment in India By Surajeet Chakravarty ; Miguel A. Fonseca ; Sudeep Ghosh ; Sugata Marjit
  2. Equilibrium Selection in Similar Repeated Games: Experimental Evidence on the Role of Precedents By John Duffy ; Dietmar Fehr
  3. More than outcomes: The role of self-image in other-regarding behavior By Astrid Matthey ; Tobias Regner
  4. The Relationship Between Novelty-Seeking Traits and Comparative Economic Development By Erkan Gören
  5. Fairness, socialization and the cultural deman for redistribution By Gilles Le Garrec
  6. Formal Approaches to Socio Economic Policy Analysis - Past and Perspectives By Gräbner, Claudius
  7. Diverse Behavior Patterns in a Symmetric Society with Voluntary Partnerships By Takako Fujiwara-Greve ; Masahiro Okuno-Fujiwara
  8. Pacification and Gender in Colonial Africa: Evidence from the Ethnographic Atlas By Henderson, Morgan ; Whatley, Warren

  1. By: Surajeet Chakravarty (Department of Economics, University of Exeter ); Miguel A. Fonseca (Department of Economics, University of Exeter ); Sudeep Ghosh (Hong Kong Polytechnic University ); Sugata Marjit (Center for Studies in the Social Sciences, Calcutta. )
    Abstract: We study the role of village-level religious fragmentation on intra- and inter-group cooperation in India. We report on data on two-player Prisoners’ Dilemma and Stag Hunt experiments played by 516 Hindu and Muslim participants in rural India. Our treatments are the identity of the two players and the degree of village-level religious heterogeneity. In religiously-heterogeneous villages, cooperation rates in the Prisoners’ Dilemma are higher when subjects play with another in-group member for both Hindus and Muslims, but to a much lesser extent in the Stag Hunt game. This suggests that positive in-group biases operate primarily on the willingness to achieve socially efficient outcomes, rather than through beliefs about the actions by one's counterpart. Interestingly, cooperation rates among people of the same religion are significantly lower in homogeneous villages than in fragmented villages in both games. This is likely because a sense of group identity is only meaningful in the presence of an out-group. This, together with little evidence for out-group prejudice in either game, means religious diversity is beneficial.
    Keywords: Social Identity, Social Fragmentation, Artefactual Field Experiment.
    JEL: C93 D03 H41
    Date: 2015
  2. By: John Duffy (Department of Economics, University of California-Irvine ); Dietmar Fehr (WZB Berlin, Germany )
    Abstract: We report on an experiment examining behavior and equilibrium selection in two similar, infinitely repeated games, Stag Hunt and Prisoner's Dilemma under anonymous random matching. We are interested in the role that precedents may play for equilibrium selection between these two stage game forms. We find that a precedent for efficient play in the repeated Stag Hunt game does not carry over to the repeated Prisoner's Dilemma game despite the possibility of efficient play in the latter game. Similarly, a precedent of inefficient play in the Prisoner's Dilemma game does not extend to the repeated Stag Hunt game. We conclude that equilibrium selection between similar repeated games has little to do with historical precedents and is mainly determined by strategic considerations associated with the different payoffs of these similar repeated games.
    Keywords: Sentiment; Equilibrium selection; Precedent; Beliefs; Stag hunt; Prisoner's dilemma; Repeated games; Experimental economics.
    JEL: C72 C73 C92 D83
    Date: 2014–12
  3. By: Astrid Matthey (Max Planck Institute of Economics, Jena ); Tobias Regner (Max Planck Institute of Economics, Jena )
    Abstract: We conduct a modified dictator game in order to analyze the role self-image concerns play in other-regarding behavior. While we generally follow Konow (2000), a cognitive dissonance-based model of other-regarding behavior in dictator games, we relax one of its assumptions as we allow for individual heterogeneity among individuals' standards of behavior. Subjects' self-image, their belief regarding the average socially appropriate behavior of others and our proxies for the cognitive dissonance costs are positively correlated with the dictator game choices. We also find that subjects whose choices involve two psychologically inconsistent cognitions indeed report higher levels of experienced conflict and take more time for their decisions (our proxies for cognitive dissonance).
    Keywords: social preferences, other-regarding behavior, self-image, cognitive dissonance, social norms
    JEL: C72 C91 D03 D80
    Date: 2014–12–21
  4. By: Erkan Gören (University of Oldenburg, Department of Economics )
    Abstract: This paper suggests a theoretical framework and provides empirical evidence for a hump-shaped relationship between the fraction of novelty-seeking traits in society and current levels of per capita income. The hypothesis is that novelty-seeking traits produce two countervailing effects on aggregate productivity and hence economic development. The beneficial effect consists in explorative knowledge acquisition, which contributes significantly to the process of economic development. The detrimental effect results from a certain amount of this knowledge not being used reliably for capital accumulation due to the high fraction of individuals engaged in exploration rather than in production. One main conclusion of the empirical analysis is that the high fraction of novelty-seeking individuals in society engaged in short-run explorative knowledge acquisition prevent permanent settlement and therefore act as an obstacle to the development of centralized states, which are a precursor to modern industrial production.
    Keywords: Novelty-Seeking Behavior, Entrepreneurial Traits, Economic Development, Natural Selection, Genetic Diversity
    JEL: N50 O10 O50 Z10
    Date: 2015–01
  5. By: Gilles Le Garrec (OFCE )
    Abstract: When studying redistributive attitudes, surveys show that individuals do care about fairness. They also show that the cultural environment in which individuals grow up aspects their preferences about redistribution. In this article we include these two components of the demand for redistribution in order to develop a mechanism for the cultural transmission of the concern for fairness. The preferences of the young are partially shaped through the observation and imitation of others.choices in a way that is consistent with the so- cialization process. More specifically, observing during childhood how adults have collectively failed to implement fair redistributive policies lowers the concern for fairness or the moral cost of not supporting fair taxation. Based on this mechanism, the model exhibits a multiplicity of history-dependent steady states that may account for the huge and persistent differences in redistribution observed between Europe and the United States. It also explains why immigrants from countries with a preference for greater redistribution continue to support higher redistribution in their destination country.
    Keywords: Redistribution; fairness; majority rule; socialization; endogenous preference
    JEL: H53 D63 D72
    Date: 2014–12
  6. By: Gräbner, Claudius
    Abstract: This paper is motivated by the observation that (1) socio economic analysis uses significantly less formalisms than mainstream economics, and (2) that there exist numerous situations in which socio economics could benefit from a more formal analysis. This is particularly the case if institutions play an important role in the system to be investigated. Starting with a broad conception of a formalism, this paper introduces and discusses five different formal approaches regarding their adequateness for socio economic analysis: The Social Fabric Matrix Approach, the Institutional Analysis and Development Framework, System Dynamics, (Evolutionary) Game Theory, and Agent Based Computational Modeling. As a formal analysis always comes up with implicit ontological and epistemological tendencies, that have to be reflected if the formalism should contribute to a better understanding of the system under investigation, this paper pays particular attention to these tendencies of the considered formalisms. In the end, antagonisms and possible convergences among the formalisms are discussed.
    Keywords: Social Economics, Institutional Economics, Methodology, Epistemology, Ontology, System Dynamics, Social Fabric Matrix, (Evolutionary) Game Theory, Agent-Based Computational Economics, Econometrics.
    JEL: B41 B52 C63 C70
    Date: 2015–01–15
  7. By: Takako Fujiwara-Greve ; Masahiro Okuno-Fujiwara
    Abstract: In the literature of voluntarily repeated Prisoner's Dilemma, the focus is on how long-term cooperation is established, when newly matched partners cannot know the past actions of each other. In this paper we investigate how non-cooperative and cooperative players co-exist. In many incomplete information versions of a similar model, inherently non-cooperative players are assumed to exist in the society, but their long-run fitness has not been analyzed. In reality and in experiments, we also observe that some people are cooperative, while others never cooperate. We show that a bimorphic equilibrium of the most cooperative strategy and the most myopic strategy exists for sufficiently high survival rate of players, and that it is evolutionarily stable under uncoordinated mutations. For lower survival rates, adding initial periods of defection makes similar bimorphic equilibria. Both types of equilibria confirm persistence of defectors. Length: 48 pages
    Date: 2013–10
  8. By: Henderson, Morgan ; Whatley, Warren
    Abstract: We combine the date-of-observation found in Murdock’s Ethnographic Atlas and a newly-constructed dataset on the date-of-colonization at the ethnic-group level to study the effects of the duration of colonial rule on a variety of political, economic, and social characteristics of ethnic groups in Africa. We find that the duration of colonial rule caused a dramatic shift in gender roles in Africa by increasing the relative status of men in lineage and inheritance systems but also reducing polygyny as a marriage system. A causal role for the duration of colonial rule is confirmed by a difference-in-difference analysis that uses never-colonized ethnic groups as a control group and by an analysis of changes in kinship terminology that tests for within-group changes in descent and inheritance rules. We are able to rule out missionary influence and Islam as mechanisms for these effects.
    Keywords: Colonialism, Africa, Property Rights, Gender, Family Structure
    JEL: J12 N47 O15 P48
    Date: 2014–12–07

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