nep-evo New Economics Papers
on Evolutionary Economics
Issue of 2016‒02‒17
six papers chosen by
Matthew Baker
City University of New York

  1. Surprising Gifts: Theory and Laboratory Evidence By Werner, Peter; Khalmetski, Kiryl; Ockenfels, Axel
  2. Religion, Discrimination and Trust By Chuah, Swee Hoon; Gächter, Simon; Hoffmann, Robert; Tan, Jonathan H. W.
  3. New Perspectives on Ethnic Segregation over Time and Space: A Domains Approach By van Ham, Maarten; Tammaru, Tiit
  4. A dissimilarity-adjusted index of ethnic diversity: Measurement and implications for findings on conflict, growth and trade By Philipp Kolo
  5. Cooperation, motivation and social balance By Bosworth, Steven; Singer, Tania; Snower, Dennis J.
  6. Paradox Lost? By Easterlin, Richard A.

  1. By: Werner, Peter; Khalmetski, Kiryl; Ockenfels, Axel
    Abstract: People do not only feel guilt from not living up to others expectations (Battigalli and Dufwenberg (2007)), but may also like to exceed them. We propose a model that generalizes the guilt aversion model to capture the possibility of positive surprises when making gifts. A model extension allows decision makers to care about others' attribution of intentions behind surprises. We test the model in two dictator game experiments. Experiment 1 shows a strong causal effect of recipients expectations on dictators transfers. Moreover, in line with our model, the correlation between transfers and expectations can be both, positive and negative, obscuring the effect in the aggregate. Experiment 2 shows that dictators care about what recipients know about the intentions behind surprises.
    JEL: C91 D64 D84
    Date: 2015
  2. By: Chuah, Swee Hoon (RMIT University); Gächter, Simon (University of Nottingham); Hoffmann, Robert (RMIT University); Tan, Jonathan H. W. (University of Nottingham)
    Abstract: We propose that religion impacts trust and trustworthiness in ways that depend on how individuals are socially identified and connected. Religiosity and religious affiliation may serve as markers for statistical discrimination. Further, affiliation to the same religion may enhance group identity, or affiliation irrespective of creed may lend social identity, and in turn induce taste-based discrimination. Religiosity may also relate to general prejudice. We test these hypotheses across three culturally diverse countries. Participants' willingness to discriminate, beliefs of how trustworthy or trusting others are, as well as actual trust and trustworthiness are measured incentive compatibly. We find that interpersonal similarity in religiosity and affiliation promote trust through beliefs of reciprocity. Religious participants also believe that those belonging to some faith are trustworthier, but invest more trust only in those of the same religion – religiosity amplifies this effect. Across non-religious categories, whereas more religious participants are more willing to discriminate, less religious participants are as likely to display group biases.
    Keywords: religiosity, connectedness, discrimination, trust, experiment
    JEL: C72 C91 J16 Z12
    Date: 2015–12
  3. By: van Ham, Maarten (Delft University of Technology); Tammaru, Tiit (University of Tartu)
    Abstract: The term segregation has a strong connotation with residential neighbourhoods, and most studies investigating ethnic segregation focus on the urban mosaic of ethnic concentrations in residential neighbourhoods. However, there is now a small, but growing, literature, which focusses on segregation in other domains of daily life where inter-ethnic encounters and social interaction might take place, such as: workplaces; family/partner relationship; leisure time; education; transport, and virtual domains such as social media. The focus on residential segregation is understandable. Ethnic residential segregation is easily visible in cities as segregated neighbourhoods often have their own distinct identity and reputation. Residential segregation is also relatively easy to investigate by using register or census data on where different ethnic groups live. However, if the interest in segregation stems from the idea that we want to measure the integration of ethnic minorities in society, and from an interest in social interaction between ethnic groups, then just investigating where people live is far too limited and other domains such as workplaces should be taken into account. In this paper we present an integrated conceptual framework of ethnic segregation in different life domains in which we combine elements from the life course approach and from time geography.
    Keywords: ethnic segregation, neighbourhoods, work places, life course approach, time geography, domains approach
    JEL: I32 J15 R23
    Date: 2016–01
  4. By: Philipp Kolo (Georg-August University Göttingen)
    Abstract: Existing indices of ethnic diversity are generally based on pre-defined groups, disregarding the (dis)similarities between them. This paper proposes an index that includes the dissimilarity in language, ethno-racial characteristcs and religion between groups. The resulting distance-adjusted ethno-linguistic fractionalization index (DELF) is based on highly disaggregated data on the language, ethnic and religious composition of groups and allows an assessment of differentiation between groups within and across countries. The DELF is subsequently applied by replicating some key studies on the effects of ethnic heterogeneity on economic outcomes. The results confirm the generally found growth-reducing effect of ethnic heterogeneity but also shows that this does not hold true for ethnic diversity in more developed countries. As regards the cultural distance between countries and its impact on trade, the DELF is, indeed, a very valuable measure of cultural affinity between countries, also showing this affinity affects trade flows in a positive way, especially of heterogenous goods.
    Keywords: Composite Index; Conflict; Distance; Ethno-Linguistic Fractionalization (ELF); Growth; Trade
    JEL: C43 D63 D74 F15 O10 Z10
    Date: 2016–01–27
  5. By: Bosworth, Steven; Singer, Tania; Snower, Dennis J.
    Abstract: This paper examines the reflexive interplay between individual decisions and social forces to analyze the evolution of cooperation in the presence of "multi-directedness", whereby people's preferences depend on their psychological motives. People have access to multiple, discrete motives. Different motives may be activated by different social settings. Inter-individual differences in dispositional types affect the responsiveness of people's motives to their social settings. The evolution of these dispositional types is driven by changes in the frequencies of social settings. In this context, economic policies can influence economic decisions not merely by modifying incentives operating through given preferences, but also by influencing people's motives (thereby changing their preferences) and by changing the distribution of dispositional types in the population (thereby changing their motivational responsiveness to social settings).
    Keywords: motivation,reflexivity,cooperation,social dilemma,endogenous preferences,dispositions
    JEL: A13 C72 D01 D03 D62 D64
    Date: 2016
  6. By: Easterlin, Richard A. (University of Southern California)
    Abstract: Or Paradox Regained? The answer is Paradox Regained. New data confirm that for countries worldwide long-term trends in happiness and real GDP per capita are not significantly positively related. The principal reason that Paradox critics reach a different conclusion, aside from problems of data comparability, is that they do not focus on identifying long-term trends in happiness. For some countries their estimated growth rates of happiness and GDP are not trend rates, but those observed in cyclical expansion or contraction. Mixing these short-term with long-term growth rates shifts a happiness-GDP regression from a horizontal to positive slope.
    Keywords: Easterlin Paradox, economic growth, income, happiness, life satisfaction, subjective well-being, transition countries, less developed nations, developed countries, long-term, short-term, trends, fluctuations
    JEL: I31 D60 O10 O5
    Date: 2016–01

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