nep-evo New Economics Papers
on Evolutionary Economics
Issue of 2018‒04‒02
five papers chosen by
Matthew Baker
City University of New York

  1. The Origins of the Division of Labor in Pre-modern Times By Depetris-Chauvin, Emilio; Özak, Ömer
  2. Accumulation regimes By Agnès Labrousse; Sandrine Michel
  3. Rationality in Economics: Theory and Evidence By Sanjit Dhami; Ali al-Nowaihi
  4. Culture, Diversity, and the Welfare State By Klaus Gründler; Sebastian Köllner
  5. Relationship between biodiversity and agricultural production By Ilaria Brunetti; Mabel Tidball; Denis Couvet

  1. By: Depetris-Chauvin, Emilio; Özak, Ömer
    Abstract: This research explores the historical roots of the division of labor in pre-modern societies. It advances the hypothesis and establishes empirically that intra-ethnic diversity had a positive effect on the division of labor across ethnicities in the pre-modern era. Exploiting a variety of identification strategies and a novel ethnic level dataset combining geocoded ethnographic, linguistic and genetic data, it establishes that higher levels of intra-ethnic diversity were conducive to economic specialization in the pre-modern era. The findings are robust to a host of geographical, institutional, cultural and historical confounders, and suggest that variation in intra-ethnic diversity is the main predictor of the division of labor in pre-modern times.
    Keywords: Comparative Development; Division of Labor; Economic Specialization; Intra-Ethnic Diversity; Cultural Diversity; Population Diversity; Genetic Diversity; Linguistic Diversity
    JEL: D29 D74 E40 F10 F14 J24 N10 O10 O11 O12 O40 O43 O44 Z10 Z13
    Date: 2018–02–14
  2. By: Agnès Labrousse (CRIISEA - Centre de Recherche sur les Institutions, l'Industrie et les Systèmes Economiques d'Amiens - UPJV - Université de Picardie Jules Verne); Sandrine Michel (ART-Dev - Acteurs, Ressources et Territoires dans le Développement - CIRAD - Centre de Coopération Internationale en Recherche Agronomique pour le Développement - UPVD - Université de Perpignan Via Domitia - UM3 - Université Paul-Valéry - Montpellier 3 - UM - Université de Montpellier - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)
    Abstract: This chapter discusses the way in which the social surplus is distributed and, crucially, used—that is, accumulation regimes. Historical observation shows that accumulation—the process of adding productive capital to the previously invested amount of capital—undergoes long periods of stability, followed by periods of instability and crisis. Thus, especially Régulation theory and the Social Structure of Accumulation approach set out to study the dynamics of production, consumption and the distribution of income through institutional frameworks specific in time and location and which underpin macroeconomic regularities. In this way, authors demonstrate that the evolutionary nature of the economy implies that economics should not assume a canonical accumulation regime but rather be concerned with a much broader variety of regimes.
    Date: 2017–08–04
  3. By: Sanjit Dhami; Ali al-Nowaihi
    Abstract: We examine the various senses in which economist use the term “rationality” and then outline some of the commonly drawn implications and auxiliary assumptions. Finally, we confront the implications with the empirical evidence, drawing on the insights from the exciting new field of behavioral economics.
    Keywords: rationality, self-regarding preferences, efficient markets, heuristics, optimization
    JEL: B40
    Date: 2018
  4. By: Klaus Gründler; Sebastian Köllner
    Abstract: We show that culture and diversity strongly influence welfare systems around the globe. To disentangle culture from institutions, we employ regional instruments as well as data on the prevalence of the pathogen Toxoplasma Gondii, linguistic differences, and the frequency of blood types. The generosity of the welfare system is higher in countries with loose family ties and individualistic attitudes, high prevalence of trust and tolerance, and low acceptance of unequally distributed power. Apart from their direct effects, these traits also exert indirect impact by influencing the transmission of inequality to redistribution. Finally, we show that redistribution and diversity are linked non-linearly: moderate levels of diversity impede redistribution, while higher levels offset the negative effect.
    Keywords: culture, redistribution, diversity
    JEL: H11 I38 Z10 D31
    Date: 2018
  5. By: Ilaria Brunetti; Mabel Tidball; Denis Couvet
    Abstract: Agriculture is one of the main causes of biodiversity loss. In this work we model the interdependent relationship between biodiversity and agriculture on a farmed land, supposing that, while agriculture has a negative impact on biodiversity, the latter can increase agricultural production. Farmers act as myopic agents, who maximize their instantaneous profit without considering the negative effects of their practice on the evolution of biodiversity. We find that a tax on inputs can have a positive effect on yield since it can be considered as a social signal helping farmers to avoid myopic behavior in regards to the positive effect of biodiversity on yield. We also prove that, by increasing biodiversity productivity the level of biodiversity at equilibrium decreases, since when biodiversity is more productive farmers can maintain lower biodiversity to get the same yield.
    Date: 2018–01

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