nep-evo New Economics Papers
on Evolutionary Economics
Issue of 2018‒05‒14
four papers chosen by
Matthew Baker
City University of New York

  1. Diversity and Conflict By Cemal Eren Arbatli; Quamrul H. Ashraf; Oded Galor; Marc P. B. Klemp
  2. Agriocliometrics and Agricultural Change in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries By Vicente Pinilla
  3. Somatic distance, cultural affinities, trust and trade By Melitz, Jacques; Toubal, Farid
  4. Economics in the Anthropocene: Species Extinction or Steady State Economics By Joeri Sol

  1. By: Cemal Eren Arbatli; Quamrul H. Ashraf; Oded Galor; Marc P. B. Klemp
    Abstract: This research advances the hypothesis and establishes empirically that interpersonal population diversity has contributed significantly to the emergence, prevalence, recurrence, and severity of intrasocietal conflicts. Exploiting an exogenous source of variations in population diversity across nations and ethnic groups, it demonstrates that population diversity, as determined predominantly during the exodus of humans from Africa tens of thousands of years ago, has contributed significantly to the risk and intensity of historical and contemporary internal conflicts, accounting for the confounding effects of geographical, institutional, and cultural characteristics, as well as for the level of economic development. These findings arguably reflect the adverse effect of population diversity on interpersonal trust, its contribution to divergence in preferences for public goods and redistributive policies, and its impact on the degree of fractionalization and polarization across ethnic, linguistic, and religious groups.
    Keywords: social conflict, population diversity, ethnic fractionalization, ethnic polarization, interpersonal trust, political preferences
    JEL: D74 N30 N40 O11 O43 Z13
    Date: 2018
  2. By: Vicente Pinilla (Universidad de Zaragoza and Instituto Agroalimentario de Aragon -IA2- (Universidad de Zaragoza-CITA), Spain)
    Abstract: Before the industrial revolution, agriculture was the most important economic activity of traditional societies. The spread of industrialisation processes, first throughout a large part of the western world and later across many more countries, gave rise to an abundance of literature on the role of agriculture in these processes. The initial perspectives offered by economic history, particularly for the British case, and the approaches of development economics specialists, largely based on previous studies by economic historians, became subject to reconsideration when numerous studies emerged that, from a cliometric point of view, sought to evaluate the changes experienced by agriculture and their contribution to economic growth. In this context, the objective of this study is to use these contributions to analyse the profound transformations that have occurred in agriculture around the world over the last two centuries.
    Keywords: Economic History, Cliometrics, Agricliometrics, Agricultural Production, Agricultural Productivity, Technological Change, Agricultural Trade, Globalisation, Agricultural Policies, Agrarian Institutions
    JEL: N01 N50 Q10
    Date: 2018–05
  3. By: Melitz, Jacques; Toubal, Farid
    Abstract: Somatic distance, or differences in physical appearance, proves to be extremely important in the gravity model of bilateral trade in conformity with results in other areas of economics and outside of it in the social sciences. This is also true quite independently of survey evidence about bilateral trust. These findings are obtained in a sample of the 15 members of the European Economic Association in 1996. Robustness tests also show that somatic distance has a more reliable influence on bilateral trade than the other cultural variables. The article finally discusses the interpretation and the breadth of application of these results.
    Keywords: Bilateral Trade; Cultural interactions; Language; Somatic distance; Trust
    JEL: F10 F40 Z10
    Date: 2018–04
  4. By: Joeri Sol (University of Amsterdam)
    Abstract: Using IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (2016v2) data, I calculate an expected extinction rate for the coming century that is 759 to 7,582 times the natural background rate. Extinction rates exceed the planetary boundary formulated by Rockström et al. (2009) nearly everywhere (521 out of 538 regions) and do so beyond the zone of uncertainty introduced by Steffen et al. (2015) in 329 regions (or 51.5 percent of land surface). I show that species extinction increases with population density and GDP per capita, and while I cannot claim causal links, my findings suggest that the conservation of nature requires degrowth or at least a transition to a steady state economy.
    Keywords: Biodiversity; species extinction; planetary boundaries; steady state; degrowth
    JEL: A10 Q57

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