nep-evo New Economics Papers
on Evolutionary Economics
Issue of 2016‒09‒25
four papers chosen by
Matthew Baker
City University of New York

  1. Culture, Diffusion, and Economic Development By Ani Harutyunyan; Omer Ozak
  2. Rise of Women in Unified Growth Theory: French Development Process and Policy Implications By Ho, Chi Pui
  3. A needs theory of governance By Sacchetti, Silvia; Tortia, Ermanno
  4. Industrious Selection: Explaining Five Revolutions and Two Divergences in Eurasian Economic History within a Unified Growth Framework By Ho, Chi Pui

  1. By: Ani Harutyunyan; Omer Ozak
    Abstract: This research explores the effects of culture on technological diffusion and economic development. It shows that culture’s direct effects on development and barrier effects to technological diffusion are, in general, observationally equivalent. In particular, using a large set of measures of cultural values, it establishes empirically that pairwise differences in contemporary development are associated with pairwise cultural differences relative to the technological frontier, only in cases where observational equivalence holds. Additionally, it establishes that differences in cultural traits that are correlated with genetic and linguistic distances are statistically and economically significantly correlated with differences in economic development. These results highlight the difficulty of disentangling the direct and barrier effects of culture, while lending credence to the idea that common ancestry generates persistence and plays a central role in economic development.
    Keywords: Comparative economic development, economic growth, culture, barriers to technological diffusion, genetic distances, linguistic distances
    JEL: O10 O11 O20 O33 O40 O47 O57 Z10
    Date: 2016
  2. By: Ho, Chi Pui
    Abstract: Rise of Women, industrialization and demographic transition are integral components in a nation’s development. We posit a two-sector unified growth model with endogenous female empowerment to study the interrelationship between women and development. Female empowerment would hamper fertility, lower agricultural employment share, and decelerate development; development that checks fertility would raise female labor-force participation and women’s (economic) power. Our model reconciles French development process during AD1400-AD2100, including women’s distinctive fall-and-rise socio-economic status, absence of a Post-Malthusian regime, fertility control and innovation’s roles in modern growth. We also study the implications for policies promoting gender equality and innovation in Madagascar today.
    Keywords: Female Empowerment; Women’s Economic History; French Economic History; Unified Growth Theory
    JEL: E10 N10 O5
    Date: 2016–09–04
  3. By: Sacchetti, Silvia (Associazione Italiana per la Cultura della Cooperazione e del Non Profit); Tortia, Ermanno (Associazione Italiana per la Cultura della Cooperazione e del Non Profit)
    Abstract: New-institutional economics hypothesizes imperfect rationality, self-seeking preferences, monetary-related needs, and opportunism as fundamental features of human behavior. Consistently, new-institutionalist models of governance highlight the efficiency and transaction costs minimizing features of control rights and governance. Differently, needs theory of governance, as here presented, hypothesizes imperfect rationality, multiple needs, and reciprocity, in which case opportunism is reduced to an exception to individual behavior. Consistently, it presents a theory that links production governance with the wellbeing of those partaking in production. Building on Maslow’s human psychology, the governance model suggested in this paper is aimed at evidencing the self-actualization potential of control rights, organizational structures and practices. The application of Maslow’s theory to the institutional structure of organizations suggests that the deepest organizational layers (control rights and governance) broadly correspond to the most basic needs in Maslow’s theory (survival, security and belonging), while the outer layers (managerial models and employment relations) correspond to the fulfillment of the highest needs (self-esteem and self-actualization). Cooperative firms are used as an illustration of governance solutions consistent with needs theory in human psychology.
    Keywords: new-institutional economics; opportunism; governance; needs theory; human psychology; self-fulfillment; cooperative firms; inclusive governance.
    JEL: H10
    Date: 2016–07–21
  4. By: Ho, Chi Pui
    Abstract: We develop a unified growth theory with Industrious Selection to explain the Five Revolutions in the development process (Agricultural Revolution, Structural Transformation, Industrial Revolution, Industrious Revolution, Demographic Revolution) and the Two Divergences in Eurasia (Little Divergence, Great Divergence) in AD0-AD2000. Industrious Selection refers to industrious (hardworking and cooperative) individuals gradually dominating the population composition through labor-leisure optimization and income effect on births. It raises working hours, improves production efficiency and accelerates development. The Black Death expedited Industrious Selection in late-Medieval Europe. Together with the population scale effect, the theory reconciles the British development process and Eurasian economic divergence during AD0-AD2000.
    Keywords: Industrious Selection; Eurasian Economic History; Unified Growth Theory
    JEL: E10 N10 O5
    Date: 2016–09–04

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