nep-evo New Economics Papers
on Evolutionary Economics
Issue of 2017‒02‒19
five papers chosen by
Matthew Baker
City University of New York

  1. Perturbed best response dynamics in a hawk-dove game By Benndorf, Volker; Martinez-Martinez, Ismael
  2. Effective demand and Say’s law in Marxist theory: an evolutionary perspective By Rotta, Tomas
  3. A Cliometric Counterfactual: What if There Had Been Neither Fogel nor North? By Claude Diebolt; Michael Haupert
  4. Using Minigames to Explain Imperfect Outcomes in the Ultimatum Game By Melt van Schoor
  5. Combining Behavioral Economics and Field Experiments to Reimagine Early Childhood Education By John List; Anya Samek; Dana Suskind

  1. By: Benndorf, Volker; Martinez-Martinez, Ismael
    Abstract: We examine the impact of behavioral noise on equilibrium selection in a hawk-dove game with a model that linearly interpolates between the one- and two-population structures in an evolutionary context. Perturbed best response dynamics generates two hypotheses in addition to the bifurcation predicted by standard replicator dynamics. First, when replicator dynamics suggests mixing behavior (close to the one-population model), there will be a bias against hawkish play. Second, polarizing behavior as predicted by replicator dynamics in the vicinity of the two-population model will be less extreme in the presence of behavioral noise. We find both e.ects in our data set.
    Keywords: evolutionary game theory,perturbed best response dynamics,experiment in continuous time,hawk-dove game
    JEL: C62 C73 C91 C92
    Date: 2017
  2. By: Rotta, Tomas
    Abstract: In this paper I theorize the roles of effective demand and Say’s law in the Marxist theory of exploitation and accumulation. I claim that an exogenous rate of exploitation, or an exogenous functional distribution of income between profits and wages, implies deploying Say’s law, which leads profit rates not to equalize across sectors. Marx’s own procedure in Capital III of simultaneously supposing an exogenous rate of exploitation and profit rate equalization was therefore logically inconsistent. Once Keynes’ principle of effective demand is introduced, the rate of exploitation and hence the distribution of income between wages and profits become endogenous to aggregate demand. Profit rates then do equalize across sectors and prices of production can function as gravitational centers for market prices in a competitive economy. If we aim at developing a theory that is both empirically relevant and logically consistent, Marxist scholars must therefore drop Say’s law and incorporate Keynes’ principle of effective demand for a proper understanding of how capital accumulation determines the rate of exploitation, the functional distribution of income, and the equalization of profit rates.
    Keywords: Marxist accumulation theory; exploitation; income distribution; Keynes’ effective demand; Say’s law; evolutionary game theory;
    Date: 2016
  3. By: Claude Diebolt; Michael Haupert
    Abstract: 1993 Nobel laureates Robert Fogel and Douglass North were pioneers in the “new” economic history, or cliometrics. Their impact on the economic history discipline is great, though not without its critics. In this essay, we use both the “old” narrative form of economic history, and the “new” cliometric form, to analyze the impact each had on the evolution of economic history.
    Keywords: Cliometrics, Economic History, Methodology, Economics, History.
    JEL: A12 B41 C18 C80 N01
    Date: 2017
  4. By: Melt van Schoor
    Abstract: In evolutionary game theory, “minigames†with reduced strategy sets are sometimes analysed in lieu of more complex models with many strategies. Are these simplified versions up to the task of explaining pertinent dynamic features of the larger models? This paper looks at the ultimatum game, in which it is known that a noisy evolutionary model leads to stable dynamic equilibriums that are far away from the game’s unique subgame perfect solution. It is argued that a naive approach is unsatisfactory and that the minigame analysis is more useful when related to the full game explicitly. A constellation of embedded minigames is identified in the full game, one for each imperfect equilibrium of the full game, with each playing out on its own conditional frequency space. It is shown that the conditional frequency dynamics applicable to these minigames have the same form as a full game’s dynamics with a reduced strategy set. While the minigames thus identified are still not two-dimensional, it is shown that two critical variables in each can be treated separately from the others, and these indeed behave like the variables in a two-dimensional standalone minigame. A graphical analysis based on selection-mutation equilibrium loci allows a clear understanding of why stable imperfect equilibriums exist and which factors tend to stabilize particular equilibriums. For example, lower-offer equilibriums are easier to stabilize, because a) proposers have more to lose by deviating from them and b) responder mutation aims at a higher target for the relevant conditional frequency.
    Keywords: evolution, evolutionary game theory, ultimatum game, minigames, conditional frequencies
    JEL: C72 C73
    Date: 2017–01
  5. By: John List; Anya Samek; Dana Suskind
    Abstract: Behavioral economics and field experiments within the social sciences have advanced well beyond academic curiosum. Governments around the globe as well as the most powerful firms in modern economies employ staffs of behavioralists and experimentalists to advance and test best practices. In this study, we combine behavioral economics with field experiments to reimagine a new model of early childhood education. Our approach has three distinct features. First, by focusing public policy dollars on prevention rather than remediation, we call for much earlier educational programs than currently conceived. Second, our approach has parents at the center of the education production function rather than at its periphery. Third, we advocate attacking the macro education problem using a public health methodology, rather than focusing on piecemeal advances.
    Date: 2017

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