nep-evo New Economics Papers
on Evolutionary Economics
Issue of 2019‒12‒23
five papers chosen by
Matthew Baker
City University of New York

  1. Present and future of evolutionary economics: post-institutionalist’s opinion By Frolov, Daniil
  2. Theories Of Reasoning and Focal Point Play With A Non-Student Sample By Zhixin Dai; Jiwei Zheng; Daniel John Zizzo
  3. The Structure and Behavioral Effects of Revealed Social Identity Preferences By Florian Hett; Markus Kroell; Mario Mechtel
  4. “Truly, Much Can Be Done”: Cooperative Economics from the Book of Acts to Pope Francis By Schneider, Nathan
  5. The manifesto of post-institutionalism: institutional complexity research agenda By Frolov, Daniil

  1. By: Frolov, Daniil
    Abstract: Modern evolutionary economics is in the ripening phase and at the same time demonstrates clear signs of an internal crisis. Having become one of the main pillars of economic heterodoxy, this scientific community still does not have a common methodological framework, an agreed research program and a system of normative settings. Indirectly responding to this crisis, a group of leading evolutionists led by Richard Nelson in the book «Modern Evolutionary Economics: An Overview» (2018) suggests moving from direct competition with the neoclassical mainstream to a compromise solution. The compromise is to complement neoclassicism with implicit evolutionary thinking, i.e. adoption of the thesis “history matters” as the basic premise of analysis, even when studying economic phenomena in statics. Similar crisis processes (and attempts at compromise solutions) are now observed in neoinstitutional theory - the mainstream of modern institutionalism - especially in the field of studying the evolution of institutions. The author, as a representative of post-institutionalism, argues that these crises are based on the exhaustion of the potential of the neo-Darwinist paradigm as a source of conceptual metaphors for studies of the economic and social evolution. Overcoming the paradigmal crisis requires going beyond the prevailing (and already dogmatized) metaphors. The necessary conditions have formed for this step: a paradigm shift is taking place in modern biological science - an extended evolutionary synthesis is taking the place of neo-Darwinism, the «core» of which is evolutionary developmental biology (Evo-Devo). In this regard, evolutionary economists have the opportunity to update the basic methodological «settings» by moving from neo-Darwinist metaphors to metaphors of the Evo-Devo. The article presents three complex priority tasks related to the implementation of the Evo-Devo paradigm. First, the rejection of any version of reductionism, in particular from mono-aspect, monocausal and dichotomous thinking. Secondly, the rejection of the optimization and dysfunctional approaches with the transition to bricolage thinking, based on a positive perception of the organic imperfection of economic institutions, mechanisms and systems. Thirdly, the addition of the traditional systemic approach to assemblage thinking with an emphasis on hybrid systems, the multiplicity of their logics and the inevitability of their conflicts. It is shown that the Evo-Devo paradigm allows a more adequate explanation of the evolution of the irreducible complexity of economic systems
    Keywords: economic evolution; institutions; complexity; evolutionary economics; institutional economics; methodology
    JEL: A14 B41 B52
    Date: 2019–09–24
  2. By: Zhixin Dai (University of East Anglia); Jiwei Zheng (University of East Anglia); Daniel John Zizzo (University of East Anglia)
    Abstract: We present a coordination game experiment testing the robustness of the predictive power of level-k reasoning and team reasoning in a sample of Chinese tax administrators. We show how the incidence of coordination game play is virtually identical between Chinese tax administrators and university students, which in turn is comparable with that found in research with a Western university student sample. However, relatively to non-students, students are comparatively more attracted by the focal point under team reasoning when this has equal payoffs and the other outcomes do not.
    Keywords: non-student subjects, focal points, team reasoning, level-k, coordination games.
    JEL: C72 C78 C91
    Date: 2019–12
  3. By: Florian Hett (Johannes Gutenberg-University Mainz); Markus Kroell (Goethe University Frankfurt); Mario Mechtel (Leuphana University Lueneburg)
    Abstract: A large body of evidence shows that social identity affects behavior. However, our understanding of the substantial variation of these behavioral effects is still limited. We use a novel laboratory experiment to measure differences in preferences for social identities as a potential source of behavioral heterogeneity. Facing a trade-off between monetary payments and belonging to different groups, individuals are willing to forego significant earnings to avoid belonging to certain groups. We then show that individual differences in these foregone earnings correspond to the differences in discriminatory behavior towards these groups. Our results illustrate the importance of considering individual heterogeneity to fully understand the behavioral effects of social identity.
    Keywords: Social Identity, Identiï¬ cation Preferences, Social Preferences, Outgroup Discrimination, Behavioral Heterogeneity, Social Status, Social Distance
    JEL: C91 C92 D90
    Date: 2019–03
  4. By: Schneider, Nathan (University of Colorado Boulder)
    Abstract: for Care for the World: Laudato Si’ and Catholic Social Thought in an Era of Climate Crisis, edited by Frank Pasquale (Cambridge University Press, 2019) At several key moments in Laudato Si’, Pope Francis makes passing reference to cooperative economics – when speaking of a more human relationship with technology, for instance, and in relation to sustainable energy production. Reading these in light of his past statements on economic cooperation, it is evident that “cooperative,” for him, is no vague nicety; rather, he is referring to a robust tradition of Catholic economic thought grounded in distributed ownership of the means of production and the precedence of persons over capital. This essay reviews the contours of the tradition that the pope is referring to, beginning with his own past statements on cooperative enterprise. It considers the foundations in biblical narratives of the early church; notions of the commons in early canon law; economic practices in monastic cultures; Catholic leadership in the emergence of modern cooperation; and the current, complex interactions between Catholic thought and the secular resurgence of cooperative economics. In addition to tying together historical threads, it draws from reporting on contemporary cooperative enterprise and on Francis’s pre-papal history with cooperativism in Argentina. Cooperative economics is a central yet under-appreciated backdrop to what the pope attempted to accomplish in Laudato Si’, and a vital component of the hope for “integral ecology” that he envisions.
    Date: 2019–02–26
  5. By: Frolov, Daniil
    Abstract: The article discusses the internal dualism of modern institutional economics, manifested in division of orthodox or mainstream institutionalism (its axiomatics and dogmatics is represented by the Standard Model) and its opposition – post-institutionalism. It discusses the post-institutional agenda, covering a wide range of discussion issues beyond Standard Model – from the analysis of institutional complexity to introducing a new paradigm of evolutionary analysis of institutions. It demonstrates that in the focus of post-institutionalism there are complex and supercomplex institutional phenomena and processes, which can only be comprehended by overcoming reductionist methodological approaches of the institutional mainstream
    Keywords: institutional complexity, institutions, institutional systems, transaction costs, institutional evolution, post-institutionalism
    JEL: B41 B52
    Date: 2019–10–17

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