nep-evo New Economics Papers
on Evolutionary Economics
Issue of 2017‒08‒27
five papers chosen by
Matthew Baker
City University of New York

  1. Economic Origins of Cultural Norms: The Case of Animal Husbandry and Bastardy By Christoph Eder; Martin Halla
  2. Rising Longevity, Fertility Dynamics, and R&D-based Growth By Koichi Futagami; Kunihiko Konishi
  3. Japan and the Great Divergence, 730-1874 By Bassino, Jean-Pascal; Broadberry, Stephen; Fukao, Kyoji; Gupta, Bishnupriya; Takashima, Masanori
  4. China, Europe and the Great Divergence: A Study in Historical National Accounting, 980-1850 By Broadberry, Stephen; Guan, Hanhui; Li, David Daokui
  5. Assam riots in India in 1980s: Examining the behavioural outcomes By Asad Islam; Ratul Mahanta

  1. By: Christoph Eder; Martin Halla
    Abstract: This paper explores the historical origins of the cultural norm regarding illegitimacy (formerly known as bastardy). We test the hypothesis that traditional agricultural production structures influenced the historical illegitimacy ratio, and have had a lasting effect until today. Based on data from the Austro-Hungarian Empire and modern Austria, we show that regions that focused on animal husbandry (as compared to crop farming) had significantly higher illegitimacy ratios in the past, and female descendants of these societies are still more likely to approve illegitimacy and give birth outside of marriage today. To establish causality, we exploit, within an IV approach, variation in the local agricultural suitability, which determined the historical dominance of animal husbandry. Since differences in the agricultural production structure are completely obsolete in today's economy, we suggest interpreting the persistence in revealed and stated preferences as a cultural norm. Complementary evidence from an `epidemiological approach' suggests that this norm is passed down through generations, and the family is the most important transmission channel. Our findings point to a more general phenomenon that cultural norms can be shaped by economic conditions, and may persist, even if economic conditions become irrelevant.
    Keywords: Cultural norms, persistence, animal husbandry, illegitimacy
    JEL: Z1 A13 J12 J13 J43 N33
    Date: 2017–08–16
  2. By: Koichi Futagami (Graduate School of Economics, Osaka University); Kunihiko Konishi (Research Fellow of the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS))
    Abstract: This study constructs an overlapping-generations model with endogenous fertility, mortality, and R&D activities. We demonstrate that the model explains the observed fertility dynamics of developed countries. When the level of per capita wage income is either low or high, an increase in such income raises the fertility rate. When the level of per capita wage income is in the middle, an increase in such income decreases the fertility rate. The model also predicts the observed relationship between population growth and innovative activity. At first, both the rates of population growth and technological progress increase, that is, there is a positive relationship. Thereafter, the rate of population growth decreases but the rate of technological progress increases, showing a negative relationship.
    Keywords: Fertility, Mortality, R&D
    JEL: D91 J13 O10
    Date: 2017–08
  3. By: Bassino, Jean-Pascal (IAO, ENS de Lyon); Broadberry, Stephen (Nuffield College, Oxford); Fukao, Kyoji (Hitotsubashi University); Gupta, Bishnupriya (University of Warwick); Takashima, Masanori (Hitotsubashi University)
    Abstract: Japanese GDP per capita grew at an annual rate of 0.08 per cent between 730 and 1874, but the growth was episodic, with the increase in per capita income concentrated in two periods, 1450-1600 and after 1721, interspersed with periods of stable per capita income. There is a similarity here with the growth pattern of Britain. The first countries to achieve modern economic growth at opposite ends of Eurasia thus shared the experience of an early end to growth reversals. However, Japan started at a lower level than Britain and grew more slowly until the Meiji Restoration.
    Keywords: Japan, Great Divergence, GDP per capita, growth reversals, Britain JEL Classification: : N10, N30, N35, O10, O57
    Date: 2017
  4. By: Broadberry, Stephen (Nuffield College, Oxford); Guan, Hanhui (Peking University); Li, David Daokui (Tsinghua University)
    Abstract: Chinese GDP per capita fluctuated at a high level during the Northern Song and Ming dynasties before trending downwards during the Qing dynasty. China led the world in living standards during the Northern Song dynasty, but had fallen behind Italy by 1300. At this stage, it is possible that parts of China were still on a par with the richest parts of Europe, but by 1750 the gap was too large to be bridged by regional variation within China and the Great Divergence had already begun before the Industrial Revolution.
    Keywords: GDP Per Capita; Economic Growth; Great Divergence; China; Europe JEL Classification: E100, N350, O100
    Date: 2017
  5. By: Asad Islam; Ratul Mahanta
    Abstract: We conduct a lab-in-the-field experiment to examine the long-term effects of riots in Assam in India on a range of economic and behavioural outcomes. We find that individuals who live in the villages that have been heavily and moderately affected by riots are more trustworthy, more likely to be competitive and have higher levels of self-confidence under competitive situations. They exhibit more anti-social preferences but are less likely to be dishonest than individuals in the unaffected areas. The estimates are stronger and more often statistically significant when considering heavily affected areas than moderately affected areas - suggesting stronger influence on those who were directly exposed to or experienced the riots. Using survey measures, we observe that individuals in areas that were heavily exposed to riots have higher levels of trust, higher tendency toward altruism, and lower memory capacity.
    Keywords: riot, Assam, risk, trust, field experiments
    JEL: C91 C93 D74 D81 O12
    Date: 2017–08–14

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