nep-evo New Economics Papers
on Evolutionary Economics
Issue of 2020‒03‒23
four papers chosen by
Matthew Baker
City University of New York

  1. Growth recurring in preindustrial Spain: half a millennium perspective By Santiago Caballero, Carlos; Prados de la Escosura, Leandro; Álvarez Nogal, Carlos
  2. The Whip and the Bible: Punishment Versus Internalization By Rohan Dutta; David K Levine; Salvatore Modica
  3. Inclusive Cognitive Hierarchy By Koriyama, Yukio; Ozkes, Ali
  4. Epidemics and Trust: The Case of the Spanish Flu By Arnstein Aassve; Guido Alfani; Francesco Gandolfi; Marco Le Moglie

  1. By: Santiago Caballero, Carlos; Prados de la Escosura, Leandro; Álvarez Nogal, Carlos
    Abstract: Research in economic history has lately challenged the Malthusian depiction of preindustrial European economies, highlighting 'efflorescences', 'Smithian' and 'growth recurring' episodes. Do these defining concepts apply to preindustrial Spain? On the basis of new yearly estimates of output and population for nearly 600 years we show that preindustrial Spain was far from stagnant and phases of per capita growth and shrinkage alternated. Population and output per head evolved along supporting the hypothesis of a frontier economy. After a long phase of sustained and egalitarian growth, a collapse in the 1570s opened a new era of sluggish growth and high inequality. The unintended consequences of imperial ambitions in Europe on economic activity, rather than Malthusian forces, help to explain it
    Keywords: Growth Recurring; Malthusian; Black Death; Frontier Economy; Preindustrial Spain
    JEL: O47 O10 N13 E10
    Date: 2020–03–11
  2. By: Rohan Dutta; David K Levine; Salvatore Modica
    Date: 2020–03–14
  3. By: Koriyama, Yukio; Ozkes, Ali
    Abstract: Cognitive hierarchy theory, a collection of structural models of non-equilibrium thinking, in which players' best responses rely on heterogeneous beliefs on others' strategies including naive behavior, proved powerful in explaining observations from a wide range of games. We introduce an inclusive cognitive hierarchy model, in which players do not rule out the possibility of facing opponents at their own thinking level. Our theoretical results show that inclusiveness is crucial for asymptotic properties of deviations from equilibrium behavior in expansive games. We show that the limiting behaviors are categorized in three distinct types: naive, Savage rational with inconsistent beliefs, and sophisticated. We test the model in a laboratory experiment of collective decision-making. The data suggests that inclusiveness is indispensable with regard to explanatory power of the models of hierarchical thinking.
    Keywords: cognitive hierarchy, collective decision-making, level-k model, strategic thinking
    Date: 2020–03–04
  4. By: Arnstein Aassve; Guido Alfani; Francesco Gandolfi; Marco Le Moglie
    Abstract: Recent studies argue that major crises can have long lasting effects on individual behavior. While most studies focused on natural disasters, we explore the consequences of the global pandemic caused by a lethal influenza virus in 1918-19: the so-called “Spanish Flu”. This was by far the worst pandemic of modern history, causing up to 100 million deaths worldwide. Using information about attitudes of respondents to the General Social Survey (GSS), we find evidence that experiencing the pandemic likely had permanent consequences in terms of individuals’ social trust. Our findings suggest that lower social trust was passed on to the descendants of the survivors of the Spanish Flu who migrated to the US. As trust is a crucial factor for long-term economic development, our research offers a new angle from which to assess current health threats. JEL Classification: I15, N3, Z1 Keywords: Epidemic, Generalized trust, Spanish flu, Pandemic, Mortality crisis
    Date: 2020

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