nep-evo New Economics Papers
on Evolutionary Economics
Issue of 2019‒07‒29
five papers chosen by
Matthew Baker
City University of New York

  1. The Institutional Dynamics of Colonial Exploitation By D'Alessandro, Simone; DISTEFANO, Tiziano
  2. The Ability in Antiquity of Some Agrarian Societies to Avoid the Malthusian Trap and Develop By Clement Tisdell; Serge Svizzero
  3. The Economic Rise and Fall of the Silesian Únĕtice Cultural Population : a Case of Ecologically Unsustainable Development ? By Clement Tisdell; Serge Svizzero
  4. Self-control: Determinants, life outcomes and intergenerational implications By Cobb-Clark, Deborah A.; Dahmann, Sarah Christina; Kamhöfer, Daniel A.; Schildberg-Hörisch, Hannah
  5. Behavioural Macroeconomic Policy: New perspectives on time inconsistency By Michelle Baddeley

  1. By: D'Alessandro, Simone; DISTEFANO, Tiziano
    Abstract: This paper focuses on the interaction between the legacy of institutional arrangements and incentives on long-term development. We recalled two studies focusing on the long term effects of geographic discontinuities in colonial practice in India and Peru and we confronted the two historical cases as to emphasise the role of capital accumulation and equality of distribution. Furthermore, we propose an evolutionary game model to capture the evolutionary dynamics of institutional assets defining egalitarian or iniquitous income divisions in a non-cooperative setting. This framework sheds light on the role of the colonial governments in the interaction between local institutions and foreign colonial rule in terms of distribution, resources extraction, social asymmetries and finalised investments.
    Keywords: Colonialism, Evolutionary Game Theory, Solow growth theory, inequality
    JEL: F43 O1 P3
    Date: 2019–07–01
  2. By: Clement Tisdell (University of Queensland [Brisbane]); Serge Svizzero (CEMOI - Centre d'Économie et de Management de l'Océan Indien - UR - Université de La Réunion)
    Abstract: This article presents a simple economic theory (and associated evidence) to explain how some early agriculturally based preindustrial societies developed despite most of their population being subject to Malthusian dynamics. Their development depended on a dominant class limiting its membership and extracting an economic surplus which it could use (among other things) to accumulate capital and advance knowledge thereby adding to this surplus. The evolution of urban centers facilitated this development process. Extraction of the agricultural surplus prevented increased population from dissipating this surplus and curtailing development. Examples are given of early economically extractive and non-inclusive societies which were long lasting. Their persistence is at odds with the views of some contemporary development economists about the development prospects of these types of societies.
    Keywords: population dynamics,institutional economics,Malthusian trap,Neolithic development,social inequality and development
    Date: 2017–08–03
  3. By: Clement Tisdell (University of Queensland [Brisbane]); Serge Svizzero (CEMOI - Centre d'Économie et de Management de l'Océan Indien - UR - Université de La Réunion)
    Abstract: After a long period of substantial economic growth and population increase in the Early Bronze Age, the reason(s) for the relatively rapid disappearance of Únĕtice cultural populations in Silesia and the subsequent lack of population in much of their former territory for around 200 years remains unclear. Various theories have been proposed for these developments, such as changed long distance trade routes or the depletion of materials for bronze-making. However, these fail to explain why large areas formerly occupied by the Únĕtice cultural population remained unoccupied (or virtually so) for so long after their abandonment. We argue, on the basis of demographic and other scientific evidence, that the collapse of this population was primarily the result of unsustainable ecological development. Human-induced changes to ecosystems eventually reduced agropastoral productivity, substantially reduced the standard of living of the populations involved and resulted in the abandonment of their settlements. The extent and nature of ecological damage was such that it took a considerable amount of time for natural ecosystems to recover sufficiently before the affected areas were economically suitable for resettlement. The possibility that resource shortages for bronze-making and changed trade routes contributed to the unsustainable economic development of Silesian Únĕtice cultural groups is also considered.
    Keywords: Agropastoral sustainability,Early Bronze Age,Ecosystem change,Natural resource depletion,Sustainable development,Únĕtice culture
    Date: 2018
  4. By: Cobb-Clark, Deborah A.; Dahmann, Sarah Christina; Kamhöfer, Daniel A.; Schildberg-Hörisch, Hannah
    Abstract: This paper studies self-control in a nationally representative sample. Using the wellestablished Tangney scale to measure trait self-control, we find that people's age as well as the political and economic institutions they are exposed to have an economically meaningful impact on their level of self-control. A higher degree of self-control is, in turn, associated with better health, educational and labor market outcomes as well as greater financial and overall well-being. Parents' self-control is linked to reduced behavioral problems among their children. Importantly, we demonstrate that self-control is a key behavioral economic construct which adds significant explanatory power beyond other more commonly studied personality traits and economic preference parameters. Our results suggest that self-control is potentially a good target for intervention policies.
    Keywords: self-control,Tangney scale,personality traits,intergenerational transmission
    JEL: D91 J24
    Date: 2019
  5. By: Michelle Baddeley
    Abstract: This paper brings together divergent approaches to time inconsistency from macroeconomic policy and behavioural economics. Behavioural discount functions from behavioural microeconomics are embedded into a game-theoretic analysis of temptation versus enforcement to construct an encompassing model, nesting combinations of time consistent and time inconsistent preferences. The analysis presented in this paper shows that, with hyperbolic/quasihyperbolic discounting, the enforceable range of inflation targets is narrowed. This suggests limits to the effectiveness of monetary targets, under certain conditions. The paper concludes with a discussion of monetary policy implications, explored specifically in the light of current macroeconomic policy debates.
    Date: 2019–07

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