nep-evo New Economics Papers
on Evolutionary Economics
Issue of 2020‒01‒06
five papers chosen by
Matthew Baker
City University of New York

  1. Incorporating Conditional Morality into Economic Decisions By David Masclet; David L. Dickinson
  2. Tra i Leoni: Revealing the Preferences Behind a Superstition By Invernizzi, Giovanna; Miller, Joshua Benjamin; Coen, Tommaso; Dufwenberg, Martin; Oliveira, Luiz Edgard R.
  3. How Experience Confirms the Gambler's Fallacy when Sample Size is Neglected By Miller, Joshua Benjamin; Sanjurjo, Adam
  4. On Topics of Thermodynamics, Complexity, Evolution, and Abiogenesis By Goldman, Daniel S
  5. A Cold Shower for the Hot Hand Fallacy: Robust Evidence that Belief in the Hot Hand is Justified By Miller, Joshua Benjamin; Sanjurjo, Adam

  1. By: David Masclet (Univ Rennes, CNRS, CREM - UMR 6211, F-35000 Rennes, France); David L. Dickinson (Appalachian State University, Department of Economics, USA)
    Abstract: We present a framework that incorporates both moral motivations and fairness considerations into utility. The main idea is that individuals face a preference trade-off between their material individual interest and their desire to follow moral norms. In our model, we assume that moral motivation is conditional and may be influenced by others’ actions. Specifically, in our framework moral obligation is a combination of two main components: an autonomous component and a social influence component that captures the influence of others. Our framework is able to explain many stylized results in the literature and to improve theories of economic behavior.
    Keywords: Fairness; Ethical Decision Making; Moral Motivation; Behavioral Economics
    JEL: B3 D6 D9
    Date: 2019–12
  2. By: Invernizzi, Giovanna; Miller, Joshua Benjamin (The University of Melbourne); Coen, Tommaso; Dufwenberg, Martin; Oliveira, Luiz Edgard R.
    Abstract: We investigate a superstition for which adherence is nearly universal. Using a combination of field interventions that involve unsuspecting participants and a lab-style value elicitation, we measure the strength of peoples' underlying preferences, and to what extent their behavior is driven by social conformity rather than the superstition itself. Our findings indicate that both mechanisms influence behavior. While a substantial number of people are willing to incur a relatively high individual cost in order to adhere to the superstition, for many, adherence is contingent on the the behavior of others. Our findings suggest that it is the conforming nature of the majority that sustains the false beliefs of the minority.
    Date: 2019–01–16
  3. By: Miller, Joshua Benjamin (The University of Melbourne); Sanjurjo, Adam
    Abstract: The Gambler's Fallacy is the mistaken belief that random sequences have a systematic tendency towards reversal, i.e. that streaks of similar outcomes are more likely to end than continue. Despite broad empirical support for gambler´s fallacy beliefs, there exists little formal explanation of why such beliefs persist. We present a simple model in which an individual formulates his beliefs about the probability of success given recent success via repeated exposure to random sequences. For each sequence he focuses on the proportion of success given recent success and then updates his beliefs, but (partially) neglects sample size. This results in probability beliefs which, in the limit, are smaller than the true (conditional) probability, i.e. gambler's fallacy beliefs. We discuss the model's novel testable predictions.
    Date: 2018–10–30
  4. By: Goldman, Daniel S
    Abstract: Evolution and abiogenesis are usually considered two different topics in biology. However, recent work on the relationship between thermodynamics and life, as well as complexity and evolution, suggest that these topics may all be intimately related. Using new research conducted by Jeremy England, Taeer Bar-Yam, and others, I attempt to show that thermodynamics seems to exert a universal selective pressure, called entropic pressure. This pressure seems to exist on the atomic and molecular level, biological level, and even societal level, and results in a number of interesting consequences, for biology here on Earth, as well as potentially on other worlds.
    Date: 2019–02–25
  5. By: Miller, Joshua Benjamin (The University of Melbourne); Sanjurjo, Adam
    Abstract: The hot hand fallacy has long been considered a massive and widespread cognitive illusion with important implications in economics and finance. We develop a novel empirical strategy to correct for several fundamental limitations in the canonical study and replications, conduct an improved field experiment to test for the hot hand in its original domain (basketball shooting), and gather all extant controlled shooting data. We find strong evidence of hot hand shooting in every dataset, including on the individual level. Also, in a novel study of beliefs, we find that expert observers can predict (out-of-sample) which shooters are hotter.
    Date: 2018–10–30

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