nep-evo New Economics Papers
on Evolutionary Economics
Issue of 2015‒02‒22
seven papers chosen by
Matthew Baker
City University of New York

  1. The impact of market innovations on the evolution of norms: the sustainability case By Müller, Stephan; von Wangenheim, Georg
  2. Endogenous Social Identity and Group Choice By Mechtel, Mario; Hett, Florian; Kröll, Markus
  3. Migration, Diasporas and Culture: an Empirical Investigation By Paul Collier; Anke Hoeffler
  4. How Does Socio-Economic Status Shape a Child's Personality? By Schildberg-Hörisch, Hannah; Deckers, Thomas; Falk, Armin; Kosse, Fabian
  5. Post-Malthusian Dynamics in Pre-Industrial Scandinavia By Marc Klemp; Niels Framroze Møller
  6. Mapping Medieval and Modern chauvinism in England: By David Fielding
  7. Monks, Gents and Industrialists: The Long-Run Impact of the Dissolution of the English Monasteries By Vollmer, Sebastian; Heldring, Leander; Robinson, James A.

  1. By: Müller, Stephan; von Wangenheim, Georg
    Abstract: That institutions matter is widely accepted among economists and so are social norms as an important category of informal institutions. Social norms matter in many economic situations, but in particular for markets. The economic literature has studied the interrelation between markets and social norms in both directions how social norms affect markets and how markets affect social norms. Starting from these two perspectives, we add to the literature, by suggesting a new link between product markets and the evolution of social norms: we analyze how the evolution of a social norm may be affected by a product innovation which adds to the variation of products with respect to their level of norm compliance. We derive necessary and sufficient conditions for a) a positive impact of the innovation on the level of norm adoption and b) for multiplicity of norm equilibria. Finally we discuss policy implications.
    JEL: A13 D02 D11
    Date: 2014
  2. By: Mechtel, Mario; Hett, Florian; Kröll, Markus
    Abstract: This paper tests social identity theory with respect to individuals' self-identification behavior. We report results from a laboratory experiment in which subjects choose their group membership, which is interpreted as decision to identify with the respective group. Inducing a trade-off between monetary payoffs and different group identification choices we elicit the respective implicit valuations of identifying with different groups. The variation of these valuations is in line with the predictions from social identity theory: Subjects have a higher valuation for identifying with groups with a higher status and with groups to which they have a smaller social distance. Finally, we show that this behavior predicts individual out-group discrimination in allocation decisions, which has previously been shown to be associated with social identity. Overall our results provide strong support for the notion that individuals optimize behavior with respect to social identity.
    JEL: D01 D03 C90
    Date: 2014
  3. By: Paul Collier; Anke Hoeffler
    Abstract: Using global data we examine the dynamics of migration from developing to developed countries.  Origin and destination countries are characterized by substantial diffrences in incomes, political rights and cultures.  Incentives as well as costs shape the decision to migrate.  One powerful dynamic effect is that diasporas increase migration, mainly because they lower the cost of migration.  Diasporas assist the next wave of migrants by overcoming the high cost of the emigration, in particular when the origin country is far away and poor.  The interaction between the diaspora and cultural distance is also significant.  Diasporas in culturally distant countries appear to be particularly useful in overcoming the cost of migration.  Culturally distant diasporas are less likely to assimulate and maintain closer links with their country of origin, while diasporas from culturally similar countries are more likely to assimulate and thus be less useful to potential new migrants.
    Keywords: Migraiton, development, culture
    JEL: O15 Z1
    Date: 2014–08–02
  4. By: Schildberg-Hörisch, Hannah; Deckers, Thomas; Falk, Armin; Kosse, Fabian
    Abstract: We show that parental socioeconomic status (SES) is a powerful predictor of many facets of a child's personality. The facets of personality we investigate encompass time preferences, risk preferences, and altruism that are important noncognitive skills, as well as crystallized, fluid, and overall IQ that represent cognitive skills. We measure parental SES by the mother's and father's average years of education and household income. Our results show that children from families with higher SES are more patient, less likely to be risk-seeking, and score higher on IQ tests. About 20 to 40% of this relationship can be explained by dimensions of a child's environment that are shown to di ffer by parental SES: quantity and quality of time parents spend with their children, parenting style, the mother's IQ and economic preferences, a child's initial conditions at birth, and family structure. Personality profiles that vary systematically with parental SES off er an explanation for social immobility.
    JEL: J24 J13 C91
    Date: 2014
  5. By: Marc Klemp (Department of Economics, University of Copenhagen); Niels Framroze Møller (Department of Economics, University of Copenhagen)
    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 labor. 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, Unified Growth Theory, Malthusian Stagnation, Co-integration, Time Series Analysis
    JEL: C32 N3 O1
    Date: 2015–01–23
  6. By: David Fielding (Department of Economics, University of Otago, New Zealand)
    Abstract: There is evidence for the long-run persistence of geographical variation in tolerance towards other ethnicities. However, existing studies of tolerance use data from countries with long-standing patterns of ethnic diversity, so it is unclear whether the inter-generational transmission is in attitudes towards specific ethnic groups or in an underlying cultural trait of which such attitudes are just one expression. This paper presents evidence for the latter, identifying geographical variation in the intensity of anti-immigrant sentiment in England that has persisted over eight centuries, spans the arrival and departure of different immigrant groups, and is correlated with authoritarianism.
    Keywords: Minorities, Immigration, Anti-Semitism, Prejudice
    Date: 2014–10
  7. By: Vollmer, Sebastian; Heldring, Leander; Robinson, James A.
    Abstract: In this paper we undertake an investigation of the long-run economic impact of the dissolution of the English monasteries by Henry VIII in the 1530s. This event is plausibly linked to the rise of the gentry , the commercialization of agriculture and political and economic change in early modern England potentially facilitating its precocious industrialization. To measure the dissolution we digitized the Valor Ecclesiasticus, the census Henry commissioned of monastic incomes in 1534 and use monastic income at the parish level from the Valor as a measure of the local impact of the dissolution. We show that parishes which the dissolution impacted more were more likely to have a textile mill in 1838, tended to have more mills and greater mill employment. We also show that they tended to have a lower proportion of their labor force in agriculture in 1831 and a higher proportion in retail trade. In addition we demonstrate that parishes where the dissolution had a greater impact had more gentry in 1700, were more likely to have land enclosed by parliament and had more innovative agriculture as measured by patents. We show these results are robust to controlling for many other potential determinants of the location and extent of industry and for a variety of strategies for accounting for unobservables. The results are consistent with Tawney s famous thesis of the rise of the gentry but extend it by making the link between social change and the industrial revolution.
    JEL: N43 N63 N93
    Date: 2014

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