nep-evo New Economics Papers
on Evolutionary Economics
Issue of 2019‒07‒22
two papers chosen by
Matthew Baker
City University of New York

  1. Ordinal Imitative Dynamics By George Loginov
  2. Commanding Nature by Obeying Her: A Review Essay on Joel Mokyr’s A Culture of Growth By Enrico Spolaore

  1. By: George Loginov
    Abstract: This paper introduces an evolutionary dynamics based on imitate the better realization (IBR) rule. Under this rule, agents in a population game imitate the strategy of a randomly chosen opponent whenever the opponent`s realized payoff is higher than their own. Such behavior generates an ordinal mean dynamics which is polynomial in strategy utilization frequencies. We demonstrate that while the dynamics does not possess Nash stationarity or payoff monotonicity, under it pure strategies iteratively strictly dominated by pure strategies are eliminated and strict equilibria are locally stable. We investigate the relationship between the dynamics based on the IBR rule and the replicator dynamics. In trivial cases, the two dynamics are topologically equivalent. In Rock-Paper-Scissors games we conjecture that both dynamics exhibit the same types of behavior, but the partitions of the game set do not coincide. In other cases, the IBR dynamics exhibits behaviors that are impossible under the replicator dynamics.
    Date: 2019–07
  2. By: Enrico Spolaore
    Abstract: Why is modern society capable of cumulative innovation? In A Culture of Growth: The Origins of the Modern Economy, Joel Mokyr persuasively argues that sustained technological progress stemmed from a change in cultural beliefs. The change occurred gradually during the seventeenth and eighteenth century and was fostered by an intellectual elite that formed a transnational community and adopted new attitudes toward the creation and diffusion of knowledge, setting the foundation for the ethos of modern science. The book is a significant contribution to the growing literature that links culture and economics. This review discusses Mokyr’s historical analysis in relation to the following questions: What is culture and how should we use it in economics? How can culture explain modern economic growth? Will the culture of growth that caused modern prosperity persist in the future?
    JEL: N0 N13 N33 O3 O52 Z1
    Date: 2019–07

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