nep-evo New Economics Papers
on Evolutionary Economics
Issue of 2017‒03‒26
seven papers chosen by
Matthew Baker
City University of New York

  1. What drives markups? Evolutionary pricing in an agent-based stock-flow consistent macroeconomic model By Pascal Seppecher; Isabelle Salle; Marc Lavoie
  2. Physiological constraints and comparative economic development By Dalgaard, Carl-Johan; Strulik, Holger
  3. 2 The New Scenarios of Culture: Some Economic Challenges By Jesus Lechuga Montenegro; Anna Mignosa
  4. Migration as a Window into the Coevolution between Language and Behavior By Gay, Victor; Hicks, Daniel L.; Santacreu-Vasut, Estefania
  5. "Capital-Skill Complementarity and the Emergence of Labor Emancipation" By Quamrul H. Ashraf; Francesco Cinnirella; Oded Galor; Boris Gershman; Erik Hornung
  6. A plausible Decision Heuristics Model: Fallibility of human judgment as an endogenous problem By Carlos Sáenz-Royo
  7. Language and Gender Roles among Immigrants to the US: A Historical Perspective By Gay, Victor; Hicks, Daniel L.; Santacreu-Vasut, Estefania

  1. By: Pascal Seppecher (CEPN - Centre d'Economie de l'Université Paris Nord - Université Paris 13 - USPC - Université Sorbonne Paris Cité - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique); Isabelle Salle (Utrecht School of Economics - Utrecht University [Utrecht]); Marc Lavoie (CEPN - Centre d'Economie de l'Université Paris Nord - Université Paris 13 - USPC - Université Sorbonne Paris Cité - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)
    Abstract: This paper studies coordination between firms in a multi-sectoral macroeconomic model with endogenous business cycles. Firms are both in competition and interdependent, and set their prices with a markup over unit costs. Markups are heterogeneous and evolve under market pressure. We observe a systematic coordination within firms in each sector, and between each sector. The resulting pattern of relative prices are consistent with the labor theory of value. Those emerging features are robust to technology shocks.
    Keywords: General interdependence, Pricing, Agent-based modeling
    Date: 2017–03–10
  2. By: Dalgaard, Carl-Johan; Strulik, Holger
    Abstract: It is a well known fact that economic development and distance to the equator are positively correlated variables in the world today. It is perhaps less well known that as recently as 1500 C.E. it was the other way around. The present paper provides a theory of why the 'latitude gradient' seemingly changed sign in the course of the last half millennium. In particular, we develop a dynamic model of economic and physiological development in which households decide upon the number and nutrition of their offspring. In this setting we demonstrate that relatively high metabolic costs of fertility, which may have emerged due to positive selection towards greater cold tolerance in locations away from the equator, would work to stifle economic development during pre-industrial times, yet allow for an early onset of sustained growth. As a result, the theory suggests a reversal of fortune whereby economic activity gradually shifts away from the equator in the process of long-term economic development.
    Keywords: long-run growth,evolution,nutrition,fertility,education,comparative development
    JEL: O11 I12 J13
    Date: 2017
  3. By: Jesus Lechuga Montenegro (Departament of Economics, Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana, Azcapotzalco); Anna Mignosa (Academy of Art and Cultural Heritage, Universidad Autónoma de la Ciudad de México)
    Abstract: IThe perception of cultural production as an economic activity with its own identity, has led to the concept of Creative Industries, which in turn has led to considerations about its contribution to Gross Domestic Product (GDP). As a result we have an increasingly stronger connection between two fields (economics and culture), which were long believed completely different. Conventional Economics once regarded culture as an unproductive sector; but nowadays culture is conceived as the Fourth Pillar of Sustainable Development. However, the contribution of culture to GDP is not limited to matters only relating to artistic creation, and culture goes way beyond solely maximizing the profit rate, or economic performance, functioning as the nerve of idiosyncrasy. The aim of this paper is to explore how the culture token cameto Economic Science, and how this issue has been approached in Mexico.
    Keywords: Cultural Economics, cultural goods, cultural values, sustainable development
    JEL: Z1 Z10 Z13 Z19
    Date: 2017–03
  4. By: Gay, Victor; Hicks, Daniel L.; Santacreu-Vasut, Estefania
    Abstract: Understanding the causes and consequences of language evolution in relation to social factors is challenging as we generally lack a clear picture of how languages coevolve with historical social processes. Research analyzing the relation between language and socio-economic factors relies on contemporaneous data. Because of this, such analysis may be plagued by spurious correlation concerns coming from the historical co-evolution and dependency of the relationship between language and behavior to the institutional environment. To solve this problem, we propose migrations to the same country as a microevolutionary step that may uncover constraints on behavior. We detail strategies available to other researchers by applying the epidemiological approach to study the correlation between sex-based gender distinctions and female labor force participation. Our main finding is that language must have evolved partly as a result of cultural change, but also that it may have directly constrained the evolution of norms. We conclude by discussing implications for the coevolution of language and behavior, and by comparing different methodological approaches.
    Keywords: Culture, Immigrants, Female labor participation, Language structure, Grammar
    JEL: J16 J22 J61 Z13
    Date: 2016
  5. By: Quamrul H. Ashraf; Francesco Cinnirella; Oded Galor; Boris Gershman; Erik Hornung
    Abstract: This paper advances a novel hypothesis regarding the historical roots of labor emancipation. It argues that the decline of coercive labor institutions in the industrial phase of development has been an inevitable by-product of the intensification of capital-skill complementarity in the production process. In light of the growing significance of skilled labor for fostering the return to physical capital, elites in society were induced to relinquish their historically profitable coercion of labor in favor of employing free skilled workers, thereby incentivizing the masses to engage in broad-based human capital acquisition, without fear of losing their skill premium to expropriation. In line with the proposed hypothesis, exploiting a plausibly exogenous source of variation in early industrialization across regions of nineteenth-century Prussia, capital abundance is shown to have contributed to the subsequent intensity of de facto serf emancipation.
    Date: 2017
  6. By: Carlos Sáenz-Royo (LEE and Department of Economics, Universitat Jaume I, Castellón, Spain)
    Abstract: This study meditates about mental heuristic rules as a representation of bounded rationality in individual decision making. The heuristic process presented here represents simultaneously limited computational capacity, the capacity to determine relevant information in complex contexts around beliefs, and time as an endogenous part of decision. The mathematical model of this heuristic rule correlates to the fallibility of the agent depending on the relative outcome of the alternatives in exogenous terms; the availability of only part of the information regarding the alternatives concert by beliefs; and the amount of time the decision maker is willing to spend on a decision based on previous experience and knowing that there is a tradeoff between time and fallibility. The resulting mathematical model can be applied to many disciplines like such as opinion models, game theory, the comparison of systems of distribution of authority, and fields that utilize the technique of agent-based models (ABM) that use individual behavior to study the macroscopic results of interactions.
    Keywords: Bounded rationality, individual decisions making, heuristic, fallibility, modelling decisions, ABM.
    JEL: A14 C00 D03 Z13
    Date: 2017
  7. By: Gay, Victor; Hicks, Daniel L.; Santacreu-Vasut, Estefania
    Abstract: Our paper investigates whether historical trends in the labor market participation of immigrant women in the U.S. can be explained in part by variation in the grammatical structure of their language spoken. Using individual-level census data on the labor market behavior of first generation immigrants to the U.S. from 1910 to the present, we show that the presence or absence of grammatical gender in the linguistic structure of a language spoken by an immigrant influences sex-specific behaviors. The originality of our approach is to consider language as a repository for accumulated ancestral culture in an epidemiological framework. Because female labor force participation has greatly increased, institutions have transformed, and motivations and compositions of immigrant flows have changed, studying a long time horizon allows us to more clearly isolate the role of linguistic structure as a cultural institution.
    Keywords: Culture, Immigrants, Female labor participation, Language structure, Grammar
    JEL: J16 J22 J61 N32 Z13
    Date: 2016

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