nep-evo New Economics Papers
on Evolutionary Economics
Issue of 2016‒10‒09
six papers chosen by
Matthew Baker
City University of New York

  1. Culture, diffusion, and economic development By Ani Harutyunyan; Omer Ozak
  2. Dynamics of Socio-Economic Systems: Attractors, Rationality and Meaning By Andrzej Nowak; Jørgen Vitting Andersen; Wojciech Borkowski
  3. The Evolution of "Kantian Trait": Inferring from the Dictator Game By Lorenzo Cerda Planas
  4. Global population growth, technology and Malthusian constraints: A quantitative growth theoretic perspective By Bruno Lanz; Simon Dietz; Tim Swanson
  5. The Solidarity Motive By Christoph Engel
  6. Evolutionary Cournot competition with endogenous technology choice: (in)stability and optimal policy By Lamantia, F.; Negriu, A.; Tuinstra, J.

  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
    Date: 2016
  2. By: Andrzej Nowak (Institute for Social Studies, University of Warsaw - Institute for Social Studies, University of Warsaw,); Jørgen Vitting Andersen (CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - UP1 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique); Wojciech Borkowski (Institute for Social Studies, University of Warsaw - Institute for Social Studies, University of Warsaw,)
    Abstract: Gintis and Helbing go beyond traditional boundaries of scientific disciplines and propose integration of major theories from the main disciplines of the social as well as natural sciences. The theory captures well many insights from social psychology. Several assumptions of the model, however, may be questioned. The assumption that social systems are at equilibrium is too narrow, because social systems may also be out of equilibrium. The notion of attractor dynamics shows that systems may converge on different types of attractors depending on the value of control parameters. The notion of rationality of human behavior may be challenged on the basis of new data from psychology, decision science and behavioral economics. Often individuals do not process the information, but rather copy the choices of others. Individuals interact by both direct and indirect means – though market mechanisms. Most importantly, social dynamics, in contrast to physical systems, is governed by meaning. Despite these limitations the theory of Gintis and Helbing represents an important step in the integration of the social sciences.
    Keywords: complex system,adaptive system,general equilibrium
    Date: 2015
  3. By: Lorenzo Cerda Planas (CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - UP1 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, PSE - Paris School of Economics)
    Abstract: The aim of this paper is twofold. Starting from the population dynamics literature, which usually finds the resulting distribution of a trait in a population, according to some parents' preferences, I answer the inverted question: Which preference function would yield into a given trait distribution? I solve this using a continuous trait, instead of finite types of agents. Using this result, I connect this transmission theory of social traits with the well-known results of Dictator Game (DG) experiments. I use a specific definition of a Kantian trait applied to DG results, and determine the distribution of this trait that is commonly found in these experiments. With these two ingredients, I show that homo-œconomicus parents have a greater' dislike' or disutility of having offspring with different traits from them compared to their Kantian counterparts. This could be a result of myopic empathy being stronger in homo-œconomicus parents, driving this dislike of difference.
    Keywords: population dynamics,Kantian morale,evolutionary equilibrium
    Date: 2015–03
  4. By: Bruno Lanz (University of Neuchâtel (Institute of Economic Research), ETH Zurich (Chair for Integrative Risk Management and Economics), Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Joint Program on the Science and Policy of Global Change).); Simon Dietz (London School of Economics and Political Science, Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment.); Tim Swanson (Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Department of Economics and Centre for International Environmental Studies.)
    Abstract: How much will the global population expand, can all these extra mouths be fed, and what is the role in this story of economic growth? We structurally estimate a two-sector Schumpeterian growth model with endogenous population and finite land reserves to study the long-run evolution of global population, technological progress and the demand for food. The estimated model closely replicates trajectories for world population, GDP, sectoral productivity growth and crop land area from 1960 to 2010. Projections from 2010 onwards show a slowdown of technological progress, and, because it is a key determinant of fertility costs, significant population growth. By 2100 global population reaches 12.4 billion and agricultural production doubles, but the land constraint does not bind because of capital investment and technological progress.
    Keywords: Global population; Technological progress; Economic growth; Agriculture; Malthusian constraints; Land conversion; Structural estimation
    JEL: O11 O13 J11 C53 C61 Q15 Q24 Q56
    Date: 2016–10
  5. By: Christoph Engel (Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods)
    Abstract: For decades, experimental economics has been very interested in behavior that could be characterized as practicing solidarity (although the term is rarely used). Solidarity is a key concept in Catholic Social Teaching. This paper builds a bridge between these two endeavors that, thus far, had little contact with each other. Catholic Social Teaching is essentially normative. People are informed what they should do if they are good Christians. Experimental Economics is descriptive. Experimenters want to learn how much solidarity experimental participants exhibit when this is costly. But from a Catholic perspective it is interesting how strongly their norms are reflected in actual behavior. The many distinctions uncovered by behavioral economics may also help refine Catholic thinking. And behavioral economics is confronted with new questions, in particular regarding deontological motives.
    Keywords: Solidarity, Dictator Game, Stealing Game, Public Good Game, Social Preferences, Deontological Motives
    JEL: A12 A13 C91 D03 D63 D64 Z12
    Date: 2016–10
  6. By: Lamantia, F. (University of Amsterdam); Negriu, A. (University of Amsterdam); Tuinstra, J. (University of Amsterdam)
    Abstract: We study a dynamic oligopoly market model where quantity setting firms can choose one of two production technologies. We find that boundedly rationality in production (best-reply dynamics) and technology choice (evolutionary selection of better performing technologies) as sources of market dynamics, can generate endogenous instability and complicated dynamics, including chaotic fluctuations and co-existing attractors with fractal basins of attraction. By studying successively more complex versions of our model we analyze these two different sources of instability separately and also investigate their interaction. We find that boundedly rational production decisions amplify technological instability whereas boundedly rational technology decisions do not contribute to the production-driven destabilization of the Nash equilibrium. In any case, whenever the two types of decisions interfere in an endogenously unstable market, fluctuations follow a visibly different pattern compared to the fluctuations of a market with only one source of instability. Finally, we show that an innovation policy that aims to alter the market equilibrium without taking into account off-equilibrium dynamics may, in an intrinsically dynamic world, generate welfare losses by destabilizing a stable equilibrium and/or by raising the amplitude of market fluctuations.
    Date: 2016

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