nep-evo New Economics Papers
on Evolutionary Economics
Issue of 2020‒12‒07
four papers chosen by
Matthew Baker
City University of New York

  1. The Neural Markers Correlates of the Kindness & Greediness Contagion in Social Interaction By Deldoost, Mostafa
  2. A Behavioral Economics Assessment of SSDI Earnings Reporting Documents By Denise Hoffman; Jonah Deutsch; Britta Seifert
  3. The Sea Battle Tomorrow: The Identity of Reflexive Economic Agents By John B. Davis
  4. Social adaptation to diseases and inequality: Historical evidence from malaria in Italy By Paolo Buonanno; Elena Esposito; Giorgio Gulino

  1. By: Deldoost, Mostafa
    Abstract: In human populations and many group-living species, individuals rely on the observation of others to filter and modify their opinions, attitudes, beliefs, or behavior. Behavioral contagion is a form of social influence and refers to the tendency for individuals to copy and imitate certain behavior of others. The aim of this study is to investigate the contagiousness of peer preferences on changes in individual decisions as well as the neural mechanism behind this phenomenon. This is a novel idea, in the literature in experimental economics. I am planning on conducting the experiments to extract and analyze behavioral and electrophysiological (qEEG) responses to stimuli in behavioral game .In particular, we examine whether repeating the dictator (taking) game after observing peer decision affect individual decision-making differently and can modulate an individual’s own (un) fairness preferences. This research will provide important information to policymakers who wish influencing behavior by applying new insights and tools from behavioral science. At the micro-level, social contagion and network effects have a substantial impact on e.g. products of retailers who sell their products through multiple channels, or people who want to donate organs to charity. This research will provide a new understanding of the contagion effect on individuals' decision making.
    Date: 2020–11–08
  2. By: Denise Hoffman; Jonah Deutsch; Britta Seifert
    Abstract: This study uses insights from the behavioral economics literature to provide a comprehensive diagnosis of seven SSA written communications that include information on earnings reporting.
    Keywords: behavioral economics, SSA, Disability
  3. By: John B. Davis (Department of Economics Marquette University)
    Abstract: This paper develops a conception of reflexive economic agents as an alternative to the standard utility conception, and explains individual identity in terms of how agents adjust to change in a self-organizing way, an idea developed from Herbert Simon. The paper distinguishes closed equilibrium and open process conceptions of the economy, and argues the former fails to explain time in a before-and-after sense in connection with Aristotle's sea battle problem. A causal model is developed to represent the process conception, and a structure-agency understanding of the adjustment behavior of reflexive economic agents is illustrated using Merton's self-fulfilling prophecy analysis. Simon's account of how adjustment behavior has stopping points is then shown to underlie how agents' identities are disrupted and then self-organized, and the identity analysis this involves is applied to the different identity models of Merton, Ross, Arthur, and Kirman. Finally, the self-organization idea is linked to the recent 'preference purification' debate in bounded rationality theory regarding the 'inner rational agent trapped in an outer psychological shell,' and it is argued that the behavior of self-organizing agents involves them taking positions toward their own individual identities.
    Keywords: reflexivity, Simon, Aristotle identity, self-fulfilling prophecy
    JEL: B11 B25 B41
    Date: 2020–02
  4. By: Paolo Buonanno; Elena Esposito; Giorgio Gulino
    Abstract: Disease and epidemics have been a constant presence throughout the history of humanity. In order to mitigate the risks of contagion, societies have long "adapted" to diseases, implementing an array of coping strategies that, in the long run, have had considerable economic and social consequences. This article advances the hypothesis, and documents empirically, that the need to alleviate the dangers of malaria shaped all aspects of life in agricultural communities, from where and how people settled, to how and what they could farm. As larger farms were better equipped to adopt these risk-mitigating strategies, centuries of exposure to malaria had important implications for inequality and wealth distribution.
    Keywords: land concentration, Inequality, malaria, diseases, human capital, long-run development
    JEL: O40 O13 O15 N30
    Date: 2020–11

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