nep-evo New Economics Papers
on Evolutionary Economics
Issue of 2019‒11‒25
three papers chosen by
Matthew Baker
City University of New York

  1. Historical family systems and lasting developmental trajectories in Europe: the power of the family? By Szoltysek, Mikolaj; Poniat, Radosław
  2. Pure rank preferences and variation in risk-taking behavior By Stark, Oded; Budzinski, Wiktor; Jakubek, Marcin
  3. Malthus Was Right: Explaining a Millennium of Stagnation By Jacob B. Madsen; Peter E. Robertson; Longfeng Ye

  1. By: Szoltysek, Mikolaj; Poniat, Radosław
    Abstract: Last years have witnessed a growing interest in economics and cross-cultural studies in the role of the historical family as the instigator of disparate developmental trajectories. This new emerging literature has already provoked a considerable amount of controversy, involving debates on the precise underlying mechanisms, the role of non-familial institutions and the possibility of reversed causality, as well as the quality of historical data. Using novel historical database of European family this paper reaffirms the hypothesis that historical family organization could be one of the intermediate factors associated with developmental and value disparities among European nations today pointed out in earlier scholarship. We show that countries starting out from more patriarchal family structures in the past exhibit more hierarchical gender relations, more collectivist mindsets, and lower levels of economic and human development in the present. These findings suggest that the criticism of the family role in comparative development may be premature, and that links between historical family organisation and developmental gradients merit further attention.
    Date: 2019–10–04
  2. By: Stark, Oded; Budzinski, Wiktor; Jakubek, Marcin
    Abstract: Assuming that an individual's rank in the wealth distribution is the only factor determining the individual's wellbeing, we analyze the individual's risk preferences in relation to gaining or losing rank, rather than the individual's risk preferences towards gaining or losing absolute wealth. We show that in this characterization of preferences, a high-ranked individual is more willing than a low-ranked individual to take risks that can provide him with a rise in rank: relative risk aversion with respect to rank in the wealth distribution is a decreasing function of rank. This result is robust to incorporating (the level of) absolute wealth in the individual's utility function.
    Keywords: Financial Economics, Risk and Uncertainty
    Date: 2019–11–21
  3. By: Jacob B. Madsen (Business School, University of Western Australia); Peter E. Robertson (Business School, University of Western Australia); Longfeng Ye (RMIT University)
    Keywords: Economic Growth, Economic Development, Convergence, Technological Progress, Malthusian Trap
    JEL: O4 O47 O1 N00
    Date: 2019

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