nep-evo New Economics Papers
on Evolutionary Economics
Issue of 2017‒07‒09
six papers chosen by
Matthew Baker
City University of New York

  1. Innovation and inequality in a small world By Lindner, Ines; Strulik, Holger
  2. A Model of Wealth Accumulation By Sylvain Gibaud; Jorgen W. Weibull
  3. How Vatican II influenced female enfranchisement: A story of rapid cultural change By Anna Maria Koukal
  4. Consumption & Class in Evolutionary Macroeconomics By Rengs, Bernhard; Scholz-Waeckerle, Manuel
  5. The Cultural Roots of Human Capital Accumulation By van Hoorn, Andre
  6. The biological counterpart to non-cooperative game theory By Hammerstein, Peter

  1. By: Lindner, Ines; Strulik, Holger
    Abstract: We present a multi-country theory of economic growth and R&Ddriven technological progress in which countries are connected by a network of knowledge exchange. Technological progress in any country depends on the state of technology in the countries it exchanges knowledge with. The diffusion of knowledge throughout the world explains a period of increasing world inequality after the take-off of the forerunners of the industrial revolution, followed by decreasing relative inequality. Knowledge diffusion through a Small World network produces an extraordinary diversity of country growth performances, including the overtaking of individual countries and the replacement of the technologically leading country in the course of world development.
    Keywords: networks,knowledge diffusion,economic growth,world income distribution
    JEL: O10 O40 D85 F43
    Date: 2017
  2. By: Sylvain Gibaud; Jorgen W. Weibull
    Abstract: Individual and national wealth accumulation is here modelled as a recurrently played game between randomly matched pairs of individuals from a large population. The simple game here studied represents exogenously and spontaneously arising productive opportunities, and the drawn individuals may seek cooperation or conflict over each opportunity. How does national wealth and the evolutionarily stable cooperation rate depend on natural resources and institutions? We show that the steady-state level of national wealth is not monotonically increasing with natural resources. We also study the evolution of the full wealth distribution. When the population is large, the distribution of individual wealth converges over time to a skewed distribution. We also analyze the effect of institutions and the possibility that wealthier individuals are more likely to win conflicts, including effects on national wealth and inequality.
    Date: 2017–07
  3. By: Anna Maria Koukal
    Abstract: The importance of culture for human behavior is well established in the economic literature. So far, most authors have emphasized the long persistence of cultural traits. In contrast, this paper deals with an important case of a rapid update of culturally rooted beliefs and behavior. Using a newly composed historical dataset (1919-1984), this paper provides evidence that the Second Vatican Council (1962–1965) had a rapid effect on Catholics’ voting behavior pertaining to female enfranchisement in Switzerland. In various difference-in-differences settings, the Second Vatican Council turns out to increase the acceptance of women’s suffrage in Catholic municipalities, when compared to Protestant municipalities.
    Keywords: Catholic Church; Second Vatican Council; rapid cultural change; female enfranchisement
    JEL: N34 Z12 D72
    Date: 2017–06
  4. By: Rengs, Bernhard; Scholz-Waeckerle, Manuel
    Abstract: This article contributes to the field of evolutionary macroeconomics by highlighting the dynamic interlinkages between micro-meso-macro with a Veblenian meso foundation in an agent-based macroeconomic model. Consumption is dependent on endogenously changing social class and signaling, such as bandwagon, Veblen and snob effects. In particular we test the macroeconomic effects of this meso foundation in a generic agent-based model of a closed artificial economy. The model is stock-flow consistent and builds upon local decision heuristics of heterogeneous agents characterized by bounded rationality and satisficing behavior. These agents include a multitude of households (workers and capitalists), firms, banks as well as a capital goods firm, a government and a central bank. Simulation experiments indicate co-evolutionary dynamics between signaling-by-consuming and firm specialization that eventually effect employment, consumer prices as well as other macroeconomic aggregates substantially.
    Keywords: Evolutionary macroeconomics; agent-based modelling; micro-meso-macro; conspicuous consumption; social class; firm specialization
    JEL: B52 C63 E21 E23 L11
    Date: 2017–03–03
  5. By: van Hoorn, Andre
    Abstract: While the accumulation of human capital is widely recognized as a key driver of economic development, what drives cross-country differences in human capital accumulation remains little understood. I use an epidemiological approach involving migrants to test for a possible cultural gradient in individuals’ propensity towards human capital accumulation. However, advancing on traditional macro-focused epidemiological culture research, I also explore a specific micro-level channel through which country-of-origin culture affects human capital accumulation involving culture’s effect on individuals’ dispositions. Results confirm a cultural gradient in the propensity towards human capital accumulation. Moreover, part of the effect of culture on migrants’ propensity towards human capital accumulation runs through migrants’ personal dispositions. Finally, culture’s effect on human capital accumulation traces back to cultural differences in emphasis on intellectual autonomy and future orientation. I conclude that understanding countries’ differential development experiences requires detailed study of the various micro channels through which culture can have macroeconomic consequences.
    Keywords: Culture; skill accumulation; epidemiological approach; intellectual autonomy; microfoundations
    JEL: I20 O10 Z0
    Date: 2016
  6. By: Hammerstein, Peter (Center for Mathematical Economics, Bielefeld University)
    Date: 2017–04–04

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