nep-evo New Economics Papers
on Evolutionary Economics
Issue of 2015‒10‒25
seven papers chosen by
Matthew Baker
City University of New York

  1. Cultural Dynamics, Social Mobility and Urban Segregation By Emeline Bezin; Fabien Moizeau
  2. Stress and Coping - An Economic Approach By Klaus Wälde
  3. Modernization, Social Identity, and Ethnic Conflict By Yuki, Kazuhiro
  4. Indecisiveness, Undesirability and Overload Revealed Through Rational Choice Deferral By Gerasimou, Georgios
  5. Trust as a Factor of Subjective Life Satisfaction By Anna Mironova
  6. Slavery, Path Dependence, and Development: Evidence from the Georgia Experiment By Goodspeed, Tyler
  7. On the fertility transition in Africa : Income, child mortality, or education? By Mveyange Anthony

  1. By: Emeline Bezin (Paris School of Economics (PSE), France); Fabien Moizeau (CREM, UMR CNRS 6211, University of Rennes 1, France)
    Abstract: We consider the relationship between intergenerational mobility and urban segregation. To this end, we develop a model of neighbourhood formation and preference transmission. The key feature here is that the incentives the parents have to transmit their trait to their children depend on the endogenous social composition of the neighbourhood. When the urban equilibrium that emerges at each date is segregated, some urban areas are characterized by better social mobility prospects than others. Segregation also generates some persistence of socio-economic status within dynasties. We show that there exist multiple history-dependent steady-states in the joint dynamics of segregation and the distribution of culture traits. Further, segregation has ambiguous eects for long run efficiency. We show that depending on the degree of substitutability between the two instruments of socialization (i.e, individual eort and residential choice), integration may emerge endogenously and be efficient. This suggests public policies that would produce neighbourhood socio-economic compositions that are more favourable to the transmission of particular cultural traits, such as for instance group-based policies.
    Keywords: cultural transmission, peer effects, residential segregation, human capital inequality
    JEL: D31 I24 R23
    Date: 2015–09
  2. By: Klaus Wälde (Johannes-Gutenberg University Mainz and CESifo)
    Abstract: Stress is ubiquitous in society. In our model, stressors translate into subjective stress via an appraisal process. Stress reduces instantaneous utility of an individual directly and via a cognitive load argument. Coping can be functional and under the control of the individual or more automatic with dysfunctional features. We predict the occurrence and frequency of uncontrolled coping - emotional outbursts - as a function of an individual's personality and environment. Outbursts cannot always be avoided. Delaying emotional outbursts artifcially can lead to even more outbursts. Looking at the effect of psychotherapy shows that expecting little and being emotional can help maximizing well-being.
    Keywords: Stress, coping, personality, controlled vs. automatic reaction, emotional outbursts, optimal stopping problem
    JEL: D03 D91 I12
    Date: 2015–10–06
  3. By: Yuki, Kazuhiro
    Abstract: Empirical evidence suggests that ethnic divisions or diversity in a society leads to negative outcomes in various dimensions, including civil conflict and economic development. It is often argued that the lack of shared social identity, that is, the dominance of subnational (particularly, ethnic) identities over national identity, lies behind the negative outcomes in ethnically heterogenous societies. If shared national identity is important, how can it be realized? In political science, there exist conflicting theses emphasizing effects of modernization on national identity. Which thesis is more relevant under what conditions? How are conflict and output affected by modernization through identity? How do policies such as "nation-building" policies affect the outcome? In order to examine these questions theoretically, this paper develops a model of social identity, ethnic conflict, and development. In the model, individuals choose a sector to work (between the modern sector and a traditional sector), social identity (between ethnic identity and national identity), and contributions to ethnic conflict. Thus, modernization (and output), identity, and conflict interact with each other.
    Keywords: ethnic conflict, social identity, modernization, nation building, economic development
    JEL: D72 D74 O10 O20
    Date: 2015–09
  4. By: Gerasimou, Georgios
    Abstract: Three reasons why decision makers may defer choice are *indecisiveness* between feasible options, *unattractiveness* of these options and *choice overload*. This paper provides a choice-theoretic explanation for each of these phenomena by means of three deferral-permissive models of decision making that are driven by preference incompleteness, undesirability and complexity constraints, respectively. These models feature *rational* choice deferral in the sense that whenever the individual does choose an option from a menu, this is a most preferred option in that menu, so that choices are always WARP-consistent. The models also allow for the use of observable data to recover the individual's preferences and, where applicable, the indecisiveness and undesirability components of these preferences.
    Keywords: Choice deferral; incomplete preferences; indecisiveness; unattractiveness; choice overload; revealed preference.
    JEL: D01 D03 D11
    Date: 2015–10
  5. By: Anna Mironova (National Research University Higher School of Economics)
    Abstract: This paper analyses the relation between trust as the element of social capital and individual subjective life satisfaction. It answers the question of whether trustful people are happier than suspicious people. Using the concept of social capital, we consider three main types of trust: general, institutional and social. The article estimates the level of trust in Russia using data from value research in two federal districts in Russia. This research was conducted by the Centre for Comparative Social Research in summer 2012. The main hypothesis, that there a positive relationship between the level of trust and subjective life satisfaction, was tested using the method of structural equation modelling.
    Keywords: social capital, trust, subjective life satisfaction.
    JEL: Z
    Date: 2015
  6. By: Goodspeed, Tyler
    Abstract: From 1735 to 1751, the Board of Trustees of the Province of Georgia imposed the only ban on slavery among the North American colonies. Exploiting the historical boundary between the 88 counties of Trustee Georgia and the 71 counties that were appended to the colony after 1751, I analyze the effects of this initial institutional difference on subsequent differences in slave dependence, land inequality, income, and poverty. I find that counties that had been covered by the initial Trustee ban subsequently had lower slave population density, fewer farms holding more than 10 slaves, and higher income and lower poverty rates today. I further find that while counties affected by the ban did not have significant differences in pre-Civil War land inequality, productivity, industrial development, or educational investment, their economic output was significantly more diversified and less reliant upon the production of cash crops. Finally, I demonstrate that controlling for pre-war output diversification significantly reduces the estimated relationship between Trusteeship and current income. Results therefore suggest that the effects of initial differences in labor institutions can persist even where those differences are not determined by geography, and that a primary channel of persistence is the path-dependence of early economic specialization.
    Keywords: institutions, slavery, inequality, development, history
    JEL: N0 O1 Q0
    Date: 2015–10
  7. By: Mveyange Anthony
    Abstract: A consensus among social scientists is that fertility rates in Africa are declining. What determines these declines? I present fresh evidence that shows education, especially for women, is an important determinant of the fertility transition in Africa. Th
    Keywords: Economic growth, Education, Fertility, Human, Income, Population
    Date: 2015

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