nep-evo New Economics Papers
on Evolutionary Economics
Issue of 2016‒02‒12
six papers chosen by
Matthew Baker
City University of New York

  1. Learning to trust, learning to be trustworthy By Ulrich Berger
  2. Doing it now or later with payoff externalities: Experimental evidence on social time preferences By Giovanni Ponti; Ismael Rodriguez-Lara; Daniela Di Cagno
  3. Other regarding preferences and reciprocity:insights from experimental findings and satisfaction data. By Leonardo Becchetti; Vittorio Pelligra; Serena F. Taurino
  4. Growth or stagnation in pre-industrial Britain? A revealed income growth approach By Groth, Christian; Persson, Karl Gunnar
  5. When economists and ecologists meet on Ecological Economics: two science paths around two interdisciplinary concepts By Olivier Petit; Franck-Dominique Vivien
  6. Bounded Rationality and Correlated Equilibria By Fabrizio Germano; Peio Zuazo-Garin

  1. By: Ulrich Berger (Department of Economics, Vienna University of Economics and Business)
    Abstract: Interpersonal trust is a one-sided social dilemma.Building on the binary trust game, we ask how trust and trustworthiness can evolve in a population where partners are matched randomly and agents sometimes act as trustors and sometimes as trustees. Trustors have the option to costly check a trustee's last action and to condition their behavior on the signal they receive. We show that the resulting population game admits two components of Nash equilibria. Nevertheless, the long-run outcome of an evolutionary social learning process modeled by the best response dynamics is unique. Even if unconditional distrust initially abounds, the trustors' checking option leads trustees to build a reputation for trustworthiness by honoring trust. This invites free-riders among the trustors who save the costs of checking and trust blindly, until it does no longer pay for trustees to behave in a trustworthy manner. This results in cyclical convergence to a mixed equilibrium with behavioral heterogeneity where suspicious checking and blind trusting coexist while unconditional distrust vanishes.
    Keywords: trust game, evolutionary game theory, reputation, best response dynamics
    JEL: C72 C90
    Date: 2016–01
  2. By: Giovanni Ponti; Ismael Rodriguez-Lara; Daniela Di Cagno
    Abstract: We report experimental evidence on the e§ects of social preferences on intertemporal decisions. To this aim, we set up an intertemporal Dictator Game and investigate whether (and how) subjects change their choices, compared with those they had taken in absence of any payo§ externality in a previous stage of the experiment. We run two treatments -INFO and BELIEF, respectively- depending on whether Dictators know -or are asked to elicit- their assigned Recipients' risk and time preferences. We find that high (own) risk aversion is associated with low (own) discounting. We also Önd that (heterogeneous) social time preferences are signifcant determinants of choices, in that Dictators display a marked propensity to account for the Recipients' intertemporal concerns.
    Keywords: intertemporal decisions, time preferences, social preferences
    JEL: C91 D70 D81 D91
  3. By: Leonardo Becchetti (CEIS, University of Rome Tor Vergata); Vittorio Pelligra (University of Cagliari, CRENoS); Serena F. Taurino (University of Rome Tor Vergata)
    Abstract: We measure satisfaction about experimental outcomes, personal and other participants' behaviour after a multiperiod "hybrid contribution" multiplayer prisoner's dilemma called the "vote with the wallet" game. Our work shows that participants who cooperated above median (which we define as strong cooperators) are significantly more satisfied with the game in proportion to their cooperative choice. On the contrary, their satisfaction for the other players' behavior is negatively correlated with the extent of their own cooperative behavior and the non-cooperative behavior of the latter. The satisfaction of strong cooperators for their behavior in the game depends in turn on the share of their own cooperative choices. We document that a broader utility function including heterogeneity in expectations on other players' behavior, other-regarding preferences, and a negative reciprocity argument may account for the combination of the observed experimental and satisfaction findings.
    Date: 2016–02–01
  4. By: Groth, Christian (Department of Economics, University of Copenhagen); Persson, Karl Gunnar (Department of Economics, University of Copenhagen)
    Abstract: The extent of growth in pre-industrial Europe in general and in Britain in particular has attracted intense scholarly focus. Growth or Malthusian stagnation? No consensus has evolved. Reconstructions of national income from 1300 and up to the Industrial Revolution come to opposing conclusions and so do econometric studies. Applying Engels’ law, we suggest a new approach in which income growth is revealed by changes in occupational structure. Data needed for this approach are less contested than the wage and output series used in the existing literature. We find that pre-industrial Britain exhibited secular rise in the standard of living.
    Keywords: Malthusian stagnation; Engel’s law; Revealed income growth; Pre-industrial productivity growth; Structural change. JEL Classification: E24, N13, O11, O41, O47
    Date: 2016
  5. By: Olivier Petit (UA - Université d'Artois, CLERSE - Centre lillois d'études et de recherches sociologiques et économiques - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - Université Lille 1 - Sciences et technologies); Franck-Dominique Vivien (Regards - EA 6292 - Laboratoire d'économie et gestion de Reims - URCA - Université de Reims Champagne-Ardenne)
    Abstract: Ecological economics essentially grew out of economists working in the environmental field and growing dissatisfied with the way that standard economics saw interactions between nature and societies and ecologists anxious to take human activities (including economic) into account in a much more direct way, within the dynamic of the ecosystems on which they depend. This clearly inscribed the new field of ecological economics within an interdisciplinary and even transdisciplinary perspective. In order to try to provide some thoughts on the evolution of this trend and the relationship between economists and ecologists, we have chosen to focus on two items 1 that are undoubtedly among the achievements of ecological economics, although their mobilization is far from uniform among the authors who make use of them: coevolution and ecosystem services. In order to do so, the itinerary of two authors recognized in the field of ecological economics will be examined: Richard B. Norgaard, whose work on the coevolutionary paradigm (Norgaard, 1994) is recognized as one of the foundations of ecological economics (Munda, 1997); Robert Costanza, who initiated work on the monetary valuation of ecosystem services 1 For the moment, we would like to use the generic term for the subject. We shall see later that these subjects may be alternatively (and often also simultaneously) used as metaphors, concepts, and instruments of public policy. 2 (Costanza et al., 1997) that is a marker in the field of ecological economics. What unites these two authors is a manifest interest in the work coming out of systems analysis in the 1970s-as we shall see, that interest ultimately led to fairly contrasting visions of the field of ecological economics.
    Keywords: ecological economics,coevolution,ecosystem services,interdisciplinarity
    Date: 2015–06–30
  6. By: Fabrizio Germano (Universitat Pompeu Fabra and Barcelona Graduate School of Economics); Peio Zuazo-Garin (Universitat Rovira i Virgili, CREIP and BRiDGE)
    Abstract: We study an interactive framework that explicitly allows for nonrational behavior. We do not place any restrictions on how players’ behavior deviates from rationality. Instead we assume that there exists a probability p such that all players play rationally with at least probability p, and all players believe, with at least probability p, that their opponents play rationally. This, together with the assumption of a common prior, leads to what we call the set of p-rational outcomes, which we define and characterize for arbitrary probability p. We then show that this set varies continuously in p and converges to the set of correlated equilibria as p approaches 1, thus establishing robustness of the correlated equilibrium concept to relaxing rationality and common knowledge of rationality. The p-rational outcomes are easy to compute, also for games of incomplete information, and they can be applied to observed frequencies of play to derive a measure p that bounds from below the probability with which any given player chooses actions consistent with payoff maximization and common knowledge of payoff maximization.
    Keywords: strategic interaction,correlated equilibrium,robustness to bounded rationality,approximate knowledge,incomplete information,measure of rationality,experiments
    Date: 2015–11

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