nep-evo New Economics Papers
on Evolutionary Economics
Issue of 2015‒02‒11
six papers chosen by
Matthew Baker
City University of New York

  1. It's Raining Men! Hallelujah? By Pauline Grosjean; Rose Khattar
  2. The weaker sex? Gender differences in punishment across Matrilineal and Patriarchal Societies By Asiedu, Edward; Ibanez, Marcela
  3. Understanding Ethnic Identity in Africa: Evidence from the Implicit Association Test (IAT) By Sara Lowes; Nathan Nunn; James A. Robinson; Jonathan Weigel
  4. Are the elder more effective implementing punishment? Experimental evidence from urban Ghana By Asiedu, Edward; Ibanez, Marcela
  5. Unequal Bequests By Marco Francesconi; Robert A. Pollak; Domenico Tabasso
  6. The Dynamics of Exploitation and Class in Accumulation Economies By Cogliano, Jonathan F.; Veneziani, Roberto; Yoshihara, Naoki

  1. By: Pauline Grosjean (School of Economics, Australian School of Business, the University of New South Wales); Rose Khattar (School of Economics, Australian School of Business, the University of New South Wales)
    Abstract: We document the implications of missing women in the short and long run. We exploit a natural historical experiment, which sent large numbers of male convicts and far fewer female convicts to Australia in the 18th and 19th century. In areas with higher sex ratios, women historically married more, worked less, and were less likely to occupy high-rank occupations. Today, people have more conservative attitudes towards women working, women are still less likely to have high-ranking occupations and earn a lower wage income. We document the role of vertical cultural transmission and of marriage homogamy in sustaining cultural persistence.
    Keywords: Culture, gender roles, sex ratio, natural experiment, Australia
    JEL: I31 N37 J16
    Date: 2014–12
  2. By: Asiedu, Edward; Ibanez, Marcela
    Abstract: This paper investigates the hypothesis that women are underrepresented in leadership roles due to a lower ability to influence others. By comparing societies that differ in the inheritance rights of men and women, we trace the origins of such difference. The results of a public good game with third party punishment indicate that in patriarchal societies there are persistent gender differences in social influence while in matrilineal societies these differences are smaller. While in the patriarchal society sanctioning behavior is not different across genders, cooperation is lower in groups with a female monitor than a male monitor. In contrast, in the matrilineal society male monitors sanction more often than female monitors, though cooperation does not depend on the gender of the monitor.
    Keywords: Gender, norm enforcement, culture, inequality, collective action, Institutional and Behavioral Economics, International Development, Public Economics, C92, C93, D03, J14, J16,
    Date: 2014–04
  3. By: Sara Lowes; Nathan Nunn; James A. Robinson; Jonathan Weigel
    Abstract: We use a variant of the Implicit Association Test (IAT) to examine individuals’ implicit attitudes towards various ethnic groups. Using a population from the Democratic Republic of Congo, we find that the IAT measures show evidence of an implicit bias in favor of one’s own ethnicity. Individuals have implicit views of their own ethnic group that are more positive than their implicit views of other ethnic groups. We find this implicit bias to be quantitatively smaller than the (explicit) bias one finds when using self-reported attitudes about different ethnic groups.
    JEL: O1 O55
    Date: 2015–01
  4. By: Asiedu, Edward; Ibanez, Marcela
    Abstract: To study the persistence of cultural norms that mandate respect towards the elder, we conducted an artefactual field experiment in two cities in Ghana. Using a public good game with third-party punishment, we find that punisher's age is an important determinant of cooperation. Our results indicate the elder are more efficient using punishment than youngsters.
    Keywords: Field experiment, status, age, punishment, public goods, Community/Rural/Urban Development, Institutional and Behavioral Economics, Public Economics, H41, C92, C93,
    Date: 2014–07
  5. By: Marco Francesconi; Robert A. Pollak; Domenico Tabasso
    Abstract: Using data from the Health and Retirement Study (HRS), we make two contributions to the literature on end-of-life transfers. First, we show that unequal bequests are much more common than generally recognized, with one-third of parents with wills planning to divide their estates unequally among their children. These plans for unequal division are particularly concentrated in complex families, that is, families with stepchildren and families with genetic children with whom the parent has had no contact (e.g., children from previous marriages). We find that in complex families past and current contact between parents and children reduces or eliminates unequal bequests. Second, although the literature focuses on the bequest intentions of parents who have made wills, we find that many elderly Americans have not made wills. Although the probability of having a will increases with age, 30 percent of HRS respondents aged 70 and over have no wills. Of HRS respondents who died between 1995 and 2010, 38 percent died intestate (i.e., without wills). Thus, focusing exclusively on the bequest intentions of parents who have made wills provides an incomplete and misleading picture of end-of-life transfers.
    Keywords: Bequests, intergenerational transfers, altruism, exchange, evolutionary motives, family structure
    Date: 2015–01
  6. By: Cogliano, Jonathan F.; Veneziani, Roberto; Yoshihara, Naoki
    Abstract: This paper analyses the equilibrium dynamics of exploitation and class in general accumulation economies with population growth, technical change, and bargaining by adopting a novel computational approach. First, the determinants of the emergence and persistence of exploitation and class are investigated, and the role of labour-saving technical change and, even more importantly, power is highlighted. Second, it is shown that the concept of exploitation provides the foundations for a logically coherent and empirically relevant analysis of inequalities and class relations in advanced capitalist economies. An index that identi es the exploitation level, or intensity of each individual can be de ned and its empirical distribution studied using the standard tools developed in the theory of inequality measurement.
    Keywords: Exploitation, class, accumulation, simulation
    JEL: B51 D63 C63
    Date: 2014–12

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