nep-evo New Economics Papers
on Evolutionary Economics
Issue of 2016‒12‒18
five papers chosen by
Matthew Baker
City University of New York

  1. Cheat or Perish? A Theory of Scientific Customs By Benoît Le Maux; Sarah Necker; Yvon Rocaboy
  2. The Deep Roots of Rebellion: Evidence from the Irish Revolution By Gaia Narciso; Battista Severgnini
  3. An Evolutionary Model of Intervention and Peace By David K Levine; Salvatore Modica
  4. Indirect Reciprocity and Prosocial Behaviour: Evidence from a natural field experiment By Andreas Leibbrandt; Redzo Mujcic
  5. Asymmetric Social Norms By Gabriele Camera; Alessandro Gioffre

  1. By: Benoît Le Maux (CREM-CNRS and Condorcet Center, University of Rennes 1, France); Sarah Necker (University of Freiburg, Walter-Eucken Institute, Deutschland); Yvon Rocaboy (CREM-CNRS and Condorcet Center, University of Rennes 1, France)
    Abstract: We develop a theory of the evolution of scientific misbehavior. Our empirical analysis of a survey of scientific misbehavior in economics suggests that researchers’ disutility from cheating varies with the expected fraction of colleagues who cheat. This observation is central to our theory. We develop a one-principal multi-agent framework in which a research institution aims to reward scientific productivity at minimum cost. As the social norm is determined endogenously, performance-related pay may not only increase cheating in the short run but can also make cheat-ing increasingly attractive in the long run. The optimal contract thus depends on the dynamics of scientific norms. The premium on scientific productivity should be higher when the transmission of scientific norms across generations is lower (low marginal peer pressure) or the principal cares little about the future (has a high discount rate). Under certain conditions, a greater probability of detection also increases the optimal productivity premium.
    Keywords: Economics of Science, Contract Theory, Scientific Misbehavior, Social Norms
    JEL: A11 A13 K42
    Date: 2016–12
  2. By: Gaia Narciso (Department of Economics, Trinity College Dublin); Battista Severgnini (Copenhagen Business School)
    Abstract: This paper studies how cultural norms shaped by negative historical shocks can explain conflicts in the long-run. Exploiting a unique dataset constructed from historical archives, we test whether the Irish Famine (1845-1850), one of the most lethal starvation in history, changed political attitudes and contributed to the Irish Revolution (1913-1921). First, we investigate the determinants of joining the rebellion movement on the basis of the 1911 Irish Census and the official lists of rebels. We find that rebels are more likely to be male, young, catholic and literate. Second, we explore whether the famine played a role in the probability of joining rebellion activities. Controlling for the level of economic development and other potential concurring factors, we provide evidence of the role of the great Irish famine as an exceptional legacy of rebellion during the movement of independence.
    Keywords: Z10, F51, N53, N44.
    Date: 2016–12
  3. By: David K Levine; Salvatore Modica
    Date: 2016–12–13
  4. By: Andreas Leibbrandt; Redzo Mujcic
    Abstract: Some of the greatest human achievements are difficult to imagine without pro-sociality. This paper employs a natural field experiment to investigate indirect reciprocity in natural social interactions. We find strong evidence of indirect reciprocity in one-shot interactions among drivers. Subjects for whom other drivers stopped were more than twice as likely to extend a similar act to a third party. This result is robust to a number of factors including age, gender, social status, presence of onlookers, and the opportunity cost of time. We provide novel evidence for the power of indirect reciprocity to promote prosocial behavior in the field.
    Date: 2016
  5. By: Gabriele Camera (Chapman University and University of Basel); Alessandro Gioffre (Goethe University)
    Abstract: Studies of cooperation in infinitely repeated matching games focus on homogeneous economies, where full cooperation is efficient and any defection is collectively sanctioned. Here we study heterogeneous economies where occasional defections are part of efficient play, and show how to support those outcomes through contagious punishments.
    Keywords: cooperation, repeated games, social dilemmas
    JEL: C6 C7
    Date: 2016

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