nep-evo New Economics Papers
on Evolutionary Economics
Issue of 2016‒10‒16
four papers chosen by
Matthew Baker
City University of New York

  1. The evolution of taking roles By Herold, Florian; Kuzmics, Christoph
  2. Inspired and inspiring: Hervé Moulin and the discovery of the beauty contest game By Rosemarie Nagel; Christoph Bühren; Björn Frank
  3. Validity of Islamic economics' behavioral assumptions: A preliminary discussion on charity giving By Murat Çokgezen
  4. Adherence to Cultural Norms and Economic Incentives: Evidence from Fertility Timing Decisions By Bastien Chabé-Ferret

  1. By: Herold, Florian; Kuzmics, Christoph
    Abstract: Individuals engage in an ex-ante symmetric situation, in which in addition to a symmetric equilibrium there are also asymmetric equilibria. Individuals can assume one of a finite set of payoff irrelevant publicly observable labels and can condition their action choice on their own assumed label as well as the label of their opponent. We study evolutionary (and neutrally) stable strategies of such games. While the formal analysis is similar to the analysis of cheap talk games with evolutionary equilibrium selection, we are here mostly interested in the social structure that underlies such equilibria. For the class of 2 × 2 games with asymmetric pure strategy equilibria (hawk-dove games) we find a key distinction between two subclasses. While the best-response structure is identical for both subclasses, the evolution is quite different for hawk-dove games in which if you play dove you would prefer the opponent to play hawk (we call these anti-coordination games), and hawk dove games in which you always prefer the opponent to choose dove (we call them conflict games). Two social structures of particular interest are a hierarchical structure and an egalitarian structure. Furthermore, complex social structures composed of simpler substructures can emerge and we characterize their evolutionary stability. We discuss when they are evolutionary stable and the consequences of different structures for welfare.
    Date: 2016
  2. By: Rosemarie Nagel; Christoph Bühren; Björn Frank
    Abstract: We draw an unusually detailed picture of a discovery, the beauty contest game - with Hervé Moulin as the center of the initial inspiration. Since its inception, the beauty contest game and the descriptive level k model has widely contributed to the growth of experimental and behavioral economics and expanded also to other areas within and outside of economics. We illustrate, in particular, the recent interaction between macro theorists and experimenters, who independently had worked on the puzzles and consequences due to beauty contest features. Furthermore, we introduce a new variety of the two-person beauty contest game with two different payoff structures that leads to different game-theoretic properties unperceived by naïve subjects and game theory experts alike.
    Keywords: Keynes, Beauty Contest Games, History, Level k, Micro-, Macro-, Neuro-Economic Experiments.
    JEL: C9 D84 D87 E12 N1 N80
    Date: 2016–10
  3. By: Murat Çokgezen (Marmara University - Istanbul)
    Abstract: Economics literature witnessed the revival of Islamic economics over the last few decades as an alternative to conventional economic theory. Islamic economists criticized value-free nature and unrealistic assumptions of conventional economics and offered a new paradigm based on behavioral assumptions. Aim of this paper is to explore validity of these behavioral assumptions, in general, or more specifically, assumptions of Islamic economics concerning to giving. The validity of behavioral assumptions of IE and their results is rarely questioned in the literature. Particularly, empirical studies, in this regard, are very limited. This study aims to make a contribution to this methodological issue by analyzing country level charity data. Additionally, it also provides a modest contribution to empirical studies on charity/giving at the macro level. Results of the study shows that countries with more pious citizens give more than the others but found no difference between giving rates of Muslim-majority countries and the others. The finding is consistent with a limited number of other studies claiming that Muslims, in general, are not different from the others or are not behaving as described in Islamic economics. Increasing numbers of studies supporting findings of this study or raising questions about the validity of Islamic economics' assumptions may cause the Islamic economics to evolve in a different direction
    Keywords: Philantrophy,Islamic economics,Economic methodology,Charity,Zakah
    Date: 2016–07–29
  4. By: Bastien Chabé-Ferret (UNIVERSITE CATHOLIQUE DE LOUVAIN, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES) and FNRS)
    Abstract: I analyze the interplay between culture and economic incentives in decision-making. To this end, I study birth timing decisions of second generation migrant women to France and the US. Only the probability to have three or more children increases with the home country fertility norm, whereas the timing of the first two births is either unaffected or negatively correlated. I propose a model that rationalizes these findings in which decisions are the result of a trade-off between an economic cost-benefit analysis and a cultural norm. The model predicts that decisions with a higher cost of deviation from the economic optimum should be less prone to cultural influence. This is consistent with substantial evidence showing that the timing of the first birth bears much larger costs for mothers in terms of labor market outcomes than that of subsequent births.
    Keywords: Cultural Norms, Fertility, Birth Timing
    JEL: J13 J15 Z10 Z12
    Date: 2016–10–03

This nep-evo issue is ©2016 by Matthew Baker. It is provided as is without any express or implied warranty. It may be freely redistributed in whole or in part for any purpose. If distributed in part, please include this notice.
General information on the NEP project can be found at For comments please write to the director of NEP, Marco Novarese at <>. Put “NEP” in the subject, otherwise your mail may be rejected.
NEP’s infrastructure is sponsored by the School of Economics and Finance of Massey University in New Zealand.