nep-evo New Economics Papers
on Evolutionary Economics
Issue of 2016‒04‒16
three papers chosen by
Matthew Baker
City University of New York

  1. Institutions and the Preservation of Cultural Traits By Anja Prummer; Jan-Peter Siedlarek; ;
  2. The legacy of historical conflict: evidence from Africa By Timothy Besley; Marta Reynal-Querol
  3. Burying the Bumblebee Once and for All: By Bergh, Andreas; Bjørnskov, Christian

  1. By: Anja Prummer; Jan-Peter Siedlarek; ;
    Abstract: We offer a novel explanation for why some immigrant groups and minorities have persistent, distinctive cultural traits – the presence of a rigid institution. Such an institution is necessary for communities to not fully assimilate to the mainstream society. We distinguish between different types of institutions, such as churches, foreign-language media or ethnic business associations and ask what level of cultural distinction these institutions prefer. Any type of institution can have incentives to be extreme and select maximal cultural distinction from the mainstream society. If institutions choose positive cultural distinction, without being extremist, then a decrease in discrimination leads to reduced assimilation.
    Date: 2014–10–08
  2. By: Timothy Besley; Marta Reynal-Querol
    Abstract: This article exploits variation between and within countries to examine the legacy of recorded conflicts in Africa in the precolonial period between 1400 and 1700. There are three main findings. First, we show that historical conflict is correlated with a greater prevalence of postcolonial conflict. Second, historical conflict is correlated with lower levels of trust, a stronger sense of ethnic identity, and a weaker sense of national identity across countries. Third, historical conflict is negatively correlated with subsequent patterns of development looking at the pattern across grid cells within countries.
    Keywords: conflict; trust; identity
    JEL: N47 O55
    Date: 2014–05–02
  3. By: Bergh, Andreas (Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN)); Bjørnskov, Christian (Aarhus University)
    Abstract: High levels of social trust has been linked to both public sector size and long term economic growth, thereby helping to explain how some countries are able to combine high taxes and relatively high levels of economic growth. This paper examines if social trust as a background factor also insulates countries against negative effects of public sector size on growth, as government size and growth are found to be negatively associated in several recent studies. We note that the effect is theoretically ambiguous. In panel data from 66 countries across 40 years, we find little robust evidence of insulating effects. Instead we find robust evidence that high trust aggravates the crowding out effects of public sector size on private investments.
    Keywords: Tust; Economic growth; Government consumption
    JEL: H10 O11 P16 Z10
    Date: 2016–03–21

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