nep-evo New Economics Papers
on Evolutionary Economics
Issue of 2018‒03‒12
four papers chosen by
Matthew Baker
City University of New York

  1. Physiological Constraints and Comparative Economic Development By Carl-Johan Dalgaard; Holger Strulik
  2. Convergence of Cultural Traits with Time-Varying Self-Confidence in the Panebianco (2014) Model – A Corrigendum By Fabrizio Panebianco; Anja Prummer
  3. Human Ethics and Virtues: Rethinking the Homo-Economicus Model By Sanjit Dhami
  4. A case of evolutionary stable attainable equilibrium in the lab By Christoph Kuzmics; Daniel Rodenburger

  1. By: Carl-Johan Dalgaard; Holger Strulik
    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
  2. By: Fabrizio Panebianco (Bocconi University and IGIER); Anja Prummer (Queen Mary University of London)
    Abstract: We highlight that convergence in repeated averaging models commonly used to study cultural traits or opinion dynamics is not equivalent to convergence in Markov chain settings if transition matrices are time-varying. We then establish a new proof for the convergence of cultural traits in the model of Panebianco (2014) correcting the existing proof. The new proof provides novel insights on the long-run outcomes for inessential individuals. We close with a discussion of conditions for convergence in repeated averaging models with time-varying transition matrices.
    Keywords: Cultural transmission; Continuous cultural traits; Social networks; Opinion dynamics
    JEL: D83 D85 Z13
    Date: 2017–11–24
  3. By: Sanjit Dhami
    Abstract: The neoclassical model in economics envisages humans as amoral and self-regarding (Econs). This model, also known as the homo-economicus model, is not consistent with the empirical evidence. In light of the evidence, the continued use of the homo-economicus model is baffling. It also stymies progress in the field by putting the burden of adjustment on auxiliary assumptions that need to compensate for an unrealistic picture of human motivation and behavior. This essay briefly outlines the evidence for a more inclusive picture of humans in which ethics and morality play a central role. It argues for replacing the homo-economicus model with a homo-behavioralis model that has already enabled great progress to be made in the field of behavioral economics.
    Keywords: ethics, morality, intrinsic motivation, consequentialistic choices, lying-aversion, guilt-aversion, markets and morality, moral balancing, self-image, self-serving justifications, partial lying, third party punishment, delegation, social identity, moral suasion
    JEL: D90 D64
    Date: 2017
  4. By: Christoph Kuzmics (University of Graz, Austria); Daniel Rodenburger (University of Jena, Germany)
    Abstract: We reinvestigate data from a 14-player voting game experiment by Forsythe, Myerson, Rietz, and Weber (1993). Performing a powerful test, we find that the hypothesis of evolutionary stable attainable Nash equilibrium play in this complicated game cannot be rejected if we account for risk aversion, calibrated in another treatment (p-value 0.7799 with a sample size of 384).
    Keywords: Opinion polls; Elections; Voting; Testing; Nash equilibrium; Attainable equilibrium; Symmetries
    JEL: C52 C72 D72
    Date: 2018–02

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