nep-evo New Economics Papers
on Evolutionary Economics
Issue of 2020‒11‒23
three papers chosen by
Matthew Baker
City University of New York

  1. Social preferences across different populations: Meta-analyses on the ultimatum game and dictator game By Francois Cochard; François Cochard; Julie Le Gallo; Nikolaos Georgantzis; Jean-Christian Tisserand
  2. The Terror of History: Solar Eclipses and the Origins of Social Complexity and Complex Thinking By Roca Fernandez, Eric; Litina, Anastasia
  3. Knowledge Diffusion and Morality: Why do we Freely Share Valuable Information with Strangers? By Ayoubi, Charles; Thurm, Boris

  1. By: Francois Cochard (CRESE - Centre de REcherches sur les Stratégies Economiques (EA 3190) - UFC - Université de Franche-Comté - UBFC - Université Bourgogne Franche-Comté [COMUE]); François Cochard; Julie Le Gallo (CESAER - Centre d'Economie et de Sociologie Rurales Appliquées à l'Agriculture et aux Espaces Ruraux - AgroSup Dijon - Institut National Supérieur des Sciences Agronomiques, de l'Alimentation et de l'Environnement - INRAE - Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement); Nikolaos Georgantzis (CEREN - Centre de Recherche sur l'ENtreprise [Dijon] - BSB - Burgundy School of Business (BSB) - Ecole Supérieure de Commerce de Dijon Bourgogne (ESC)); Jean-Christian Tisserand (CEREN - Centre de Recherche sur l'ENtreprise [Dijon] - BSB - Burgundy School of Business (BSB) - Ecole Supérieure de Commerce de Dijon Bourgogne (ESC))
    Abstract: We perform meta-regressions on a single database containing 96 observations of simple ultimatum games and 144 observations of simple dictator games to disentangle the fairness hypothesis based on the degree of economic development of a country. According to the fairness hypothesis, o ers in the two games should not di er if they were motivated by a subject's fairness concerns. Using the di erence across countries between o ers in ultimatum and dictator games, we address the e ect of being exposed to the market mechanism on pure fairness concerns and other-regarding, expectations-driven fairness. Our results show in particular that the lower the level of economic development in a country, the less likely the rejection of the fairness hypothesis.
    Keywords: ultimatum game,dictator game,meta-analysis,social preferences,social preferences JEL Classification: C13,C78,D03,D64
    Date: 2021–02
  2. By: Roca Fernandez, Eric; Litina, Anastasia
    Abstract: Our research advances the hypothesis and empirically establishes that a higher incidence of solar eclipses is associated with higher social complexity and complex thinking in premodern societies. We construct a novel dataset of solar eclipses' incidence at the ethnic-group level, bringing together a wide range of historical, ethnic and GIS data sources. We exploit variations in the exposure to solar eclipses in a set of 1267 ethnic groups derived from Murdock's 1967 Ethnographic Atlas. Variation in the exposure to total eclipses is exogenous, as eclipses are randomly and sparsely distributed all over the globe. Moreover, unlike other natural phenomena, solar eclipses do not destroy capital |be it human or physical. We use jurisdictional hierarchy levels, political integration and class stratification to account for social complexity. Increasing levels of gods' involvement in human affairs and the play of games proxy for complex thinking. Our results are robust to a wide range of geographical and ethnic-group controls as well as to a horse race regression between solar eclipses and other natural phenomena: lunar eclipses, earthquakes and volcano eruptions. As a potential mechanism, we hypothesize that solar eclipses and the fear they instilled raise the demand for explanations. Societies that experience frequently such episodes develop more complex societal structures and become more versed in complex thinking in an attempt to comprehend and eventually control the natural environment.
    JEL: O1 Z12 P16
    Date: 2020
  3. By: Ayoubi, Charles; Thurm, Boris
    Abstract: Technology enables individuals, scientists, and organizations to share valuable data and knowledge in new ways, not possible before. Scholars are divided on how this phenomenon emerges, especially among strangers. The classical homo oeconomicus type of preference does not provide an explanation for this behavior. If individuals were simply self-centered, they would choose to keep for themselves the valuable information they hold, especially in the absence of any contract or guarantee of reciprocity. In this paper, we explain why some individuals are willing to share valuable knowledge at their own cost by crafting a model with heterogeneously-moral individuals involved in a sharing social dilemma. Our model builds on the recent literature showing that moral incentives are favored by evolution theoretically and have a strong explanatory power empirically. Our analysis highlights the limit of financial incentives, and the importance of promoting a sharing culture by enhancing awareness. Shedding light on how people respond not only to financial but also moral incentives, we contribute to the ongoing policy debate on the design of efficient open science policies.
    Date: 2020–10–21

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