nep-evo New Economics Papers
on Evolutionary Economics
Issue of 2019‒04‒01
five papers chosen by
Matthew Baker
City University of New York

  1. Relationship between biodiversity and agricultural production By Ilaria Brunetti; Mabel Tidball; Denis Couvet
  2. Structural Change and the Fertility Transition By Ager, Philipp; Herz, Benedikt
  3. The Economics of Hypergamy By Almås, Ingvild; Kotsadam, Andreas; Moen, Espen R; Røed, Knut
  4. The rural exodus and the rise of Europe By Thomas Baudin; Robert Stelter
  5. The Development of Egalitarian Norm Enforcement in Childhood and Adolescence By Zvonimir Bašic; Armin Falk; Fabian Kosse

  1. By: Ilaria Brunetti (CMAP - Centre de Mathématiques Appliquées - Ecole Polytechnique - X - École polytechnique - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique); Mabel Tidball (CEE-M - Centre d'Economie de l'Environnement - Montpellier - FRE2010 - INRA - Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique - UM - Université de Montpellier - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - Montpellier SupAgro - Institut national d’études supérieures agronomiques de Montpellier); Denis Couvet (MNHN - Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle)
    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.
    Keywords: cleansing dictator game licensing moral in(consistency taking game.
    Date: 2018
  2. By: Ager, Philipp; Herz, Benedikt
    Abstract: This paper provides new insights on the relationship between structural change and the fertility transition. We exploit the spread of an agricultural pest in the American South in the 1890s as plausibly exogenous variation in agricultural production to establish a causal link between earnings opportunities in agriculture and fertility. Households staying in agriculture reduced fertility because children are a normal good, while households switching to manufacturing reduced fertility because of the higher opportunity costs of raising children. The lower earnings opportunities in agriculture also decreased the value of child labor which increased schooling, consistent with a quantity-quality model of fertility.
    Keywords: Agricultural Income; Fertility Transition; Industrialization; structural change
    JEL: J13 N31 O14
    Date: 2019–03
  3. By: Almås, Ingvild; Kotsadam, Andreas; Moen, Espen R; Røed, Knut
    Abstract: Partner selection is a vital feature of human behavior with important consequences for indi-viduals, families, and society. Hypergamy occurs when a husband's earning capacity system-atically exceeds that of his wife. We provide a theoretical framework that rationalizes hy-pergamy even in the absence of gender differences in the distribution of earnings capacity. Using parental earnings rank, a predetermined measure of earnings capacity that solves the simultaneity problem of matching affecting earnings outcomes, we show that hypergamy is an important feature of Norwegian mating patterns. A vignette experiment identifies gender differences in preferences that can explain the observed patterns.
    Keywords: gender identity; Household specialization; Labor Supply; Marriage
    JEL: D10 J12 J22
    Date: 2019–03
  4. By: Thomas Baudin (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany); Robert Stelter (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany)
    Abstract: To assess the importance of the rural exodus in fostering the transition from stagnation to growth, we propose a unified model of growth and internal migrations. Using an original set of Swedish data, we identify the deep parameters of our model. We show that internal migration conditions had to be favorable enough to authorize an exodus out of the countryside in order to fuel the industrial development of cities and the demographic transition of the country. We then compare the respective contribution of shocks on internal migration costs, infant mortality and inequalities in agricultural productivity to the economic take-off and the demographic transition that occurred in Sweden. Negative shocks on labor mobility generate larger delays in the take-off to growth compared to mortality shocks equivalent to the Black Death. Deepening inequalities of productivity in the agricultural sector, like it has been done by enclosure movements, contributes to accelerate urbanization at the cost of depressed economic growth.
    Keywords: Europe, Sweden
    JEL: J1 Z0
    Date: 2019–01
  5. By: Zvonimir Bašic (Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods); Armin Falk (University of Bonn); Fabian Kosse (University of Bonn)
    Abstract: The equal division of goods is a long-existing social norm present in societies around the world. In order to ensure that the egalitarian norm is followed, people engage in costly enforcement of norm-violating behavior. Despite its importance, little is known about the emergence of this enforcement and how it develops over time. Therefore, we take the most commonly-used third-party punishment game where a third party is added to a dictator game, adapt it for children and run an experiment with 9-18 year-old children and adolescents. We show that already at 9-10 years of age, a small but non-negligible proportion of subjects are costly enforcing the egalitarian norm. We find that this behavior then strongly develops in the following years: The proportion of egalitarian norm enforcers increases, becoming the most common behavioral type with 11-12 years of age, and the punishers' behavior fully develops until 13-14 years of age. Following those developmental changes, the enforcing behavior remains stable until adulthood. We find that some norm enforcers do not only punish selfish, but also generous deviations from the egalitarian norm. Looking at the dictators' behavior, we observe that they increase their transfer in the direction of the egalitarian norm primarily in the same period as we observe developmental changes on the punishers' side.
    Keywords: third-party punishment, norm enforcement, egalitarian norm, Formation of preferences, children
    JEL: C91 C93 D63 D90
    Date: 2019–03

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