nep-evo New Economics Papers
on Evolutionary Economics
Issue of 2016‒07‒16
five papers chosen by
Matthew Baker
City University of New York

  1. The Influence of Ancestral Lifeways on Individual Economic Outcomes in Sub-Saharan Africa By Michalopoulos, Stelios; Putterman, Louis; Weil, David
  2. Can War Foster Cooperation? By Michal Bauer; Christopher Blattman; Julie Chytilová; Joseph Henrich; Edward Miguel; Tamar Mitts
  3. Current Emotion Research in Economics By Klaus Wälde; Agnes Moors
  4. Achieving the American Dream: Cultural Distance, Cultural Diversity and Economic Performance By Valeria Rueda; Guillaume Laval; Etienne Patin
  5. Evolutionary Model of Stock Markets By Joachim Kaldasch

  1. By: Michalopoulos, Stelios; Putterman, Louis; Weil, David
    Abstract: Does a person's historical lineage influence his or her current economic status? Motivated by a large literature in social sciences stressing the effect of an early transition to agriculture on current economic performance at the level of countries, we examine the relative contemporary status of individuals as a function of how much their ancestors relied on agriculture during the pre-industrial era. We focus on Africa, where by combining anthropological records of groups with individual-level survey data we can explore the effect of the historical lifeways of one's forefathers. Within enumeration areas and occupational groups, we find that individuals from ethnicities that derived a larger share of subsistence from agriculture in the pre-colonial era are today more educated and wealthy. A tentative exploration of channels suggests that differences in attitudes and beliefs as well as differential treatment by others, including differential political power, may contribute to these divergent outcomes.
    Keywords: Africa; agriculture; Culture; Development; Ethnicity
    JEL: J6 N37 O15 Z1
    Date: 2016–06
  2. By: Michal Bauer (CERGE-EI and Charles University); Christopher Blattman (Columbia University, New York City and National Bureau of Economic Research, Cambridge, Massachusetts); Julie Chytilová (CERGE-EI and Charles University); Joseph Henrich (Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts and CIFAR, Toronto, Ontario, Canada); Edward Miguel (University of California, Berkeley, California, and National Bureau of Economic Research, Cambridge, Massachusetts); Tamar Mitts (Columbia University, New York City, New York)
    Abstract: In the past decade, nearly 20 studies have found a strong, persistent pattern in surveys and behavioral experiments from over 40 countries: individual exposure to war violence tends to increase social cooperation at the local level, including community participation and prosocial behavior. Thus while war has many negative legacies for individuals and societies, it appears to leave a positive legacy in terms of local cooperation and civic engagement. We discuss, synthesize and reanalyze the emerging body of evidence, and weigh alternative explanations. There is some indication that war violence especially enhances in-group or “parochial” norms and preferences, a finding that, if true, suggests that the rising social cohesion we document need not promote broader peace.
    Date: 2016–07
  3. By: Klaus Wälde (Johannes Gutenberg-University Mainz); Agnes Moors (KU Leuven)
    Abstract: Positive and negative feelings were central to the development of economics, especially in utility theory in classical economics. While neoclassical utility theory ignored feelings, behavioral economics more recently reintroduced feelings in utility theory. Beyond feelings, economic theorists use full-fledged specific emotions to explain behavior that otherwise could not be understood or they study emotions out of interest for the emotion itself. While some analyses display a strong overlap between psychological thinking and economic modelling, in most cases there is still a large gap between economic and psychological approaches to emotion research. Ways how to reduce this gap are discussed.
    Date: 2016–07
  4. By: Valeria Rueda (Sciences Po and Pembroke College, Oxford); Guillaume Laval (Institut Pasteur); Etienne Patin (Institut Pasteur)
    Abstract: This article explores the role of individual cultural distance on income, using the genetic distance as a proxy for cultural distance. We show that cultural distance has heterogeneous predictive power.In particular, culturally distant individuals living in regions with other individuals from more trusting ancestries or less xenophobic ones are more likely to be economically successful. First generation migrants seem to be less likely to success the more culturally distant they are, but this e?ect vanishes as time spent in the USA increases. Our research challenges the static view that cultural di?erences are necessarily an obstacle to economic performance in the long-run. Our interpretation of the results is robust to the use of alternative measures for cultural distance.
    Keywords: Cultural Distance, Cultural Diversity, Genetics, Historical Persistence, Labor Participation, Social Capital.
    JEL: J61 N30 O15 Z13
    Date: 2016–02–22
  5. By: Joachim Kaldasch
    Abstract: The paper presents an evolutionary economic model for the price evolution of stocks. Treating a stock market as a self-organized system governed by a fast purchase process and slow variations of demand and supply the model suggests that the short term price distribution has the form a logistic (Laplace) distribution. The long term return can be described by Laplace-Gaussian mixture distributions. The long term mean price evolution is governed by a Walrus equation, which can be transformed into a replicator equation. This allows quantifying the evolutionary price competition between stocks. The theory suggests that stock prices scaled by the price over all stocks can be used to investigate long-term trends in a Fisher-Pry plot. The price competition that follows from the model is illustrated by examining the empirical long-term price trends of two stocks.
    Date: 2015–05

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