nep-evo New Economics Papers
on Evolutionary Economics
Issue of 2021‒01‒11
three papers chosen by
Matthew Baker
City University of New York

  1. The Homo Economicus Under Experimental Attack By Schlicht, Ekkehart
  2. Temporal assortment of cooperators in the spatial prisoner's dilemma By Tim Johnson; Oleg Smirnov
  3. Determinants of Relational Contract Performance: Experimental Evidence By Wu, Steven Y.

  1. By: Schlicht, Ekkehart
    Abstract: For non-economists, it is often difficult to understand why economists place so much emphasis on the self-interest motive. It is obvious that people act out of a variety of motives - gratitude, anger, social obligation and many, many other motives. There are several reasons why economists still put the self-interest motive in the foreground. Three points of view seem particularly important: - homo economicus as a useful approximation - homo economicus as an ideal type - homo oeconomicus as as-if construction These justifications for the self-interest or homo-economicus assumption are briefly characterized.. It is explained why these justifications cannot be empirically disproved. Only their relevance can be questioned. Subsequently, the evolutionary point of view that underlies the as-if defense of homo economicus is radicalized and it is argued that it is appropriate to approach norm formation theoretically and experimentally from a psychological point of view.
    Keywords: behavioral economics; rational choice; evolutionary economics; anomalies; bounded rationality; institutional economics; norm erosion
    JEL: D9 B13 B15 D01
    Date: 2020
  2. By: Tim Johnson; Oleg Smirnov
    Abstract: We study a spatial, one-shot prisoner's dilemma (PD) model in which selection operates on both an organism's behavioral strategy (cooperate or defect) and its choice of when to implement that strategy across a set of discrete time slots. Cooperators evolve to fixation regularly in the model when we add time slots to lattices and small-world networks, and their portion of the population grows, albeit slowly, when organisms interact in a scale-free network. This selection for cooperators occurs across a wide variety of time slots and it does so even when a crucial condition for the evolution of cooperation on graphs is violated--namely, when the ratio of benefits to costs in the PD does not exceed the number of spatially-adjacent organisms.
    Date: 2020–11
  3. By: Wu, Steven Y.
    Abstract: This study examines the determinants of relational contractual performance using data from a series of laboratory experiments. There is currently limited empirical evidence on the determinants of contractual performance, which includes contractual acceptance, and the delivery of promised quantity/quality under the terms of the contract. While theory predicts that the primary drivers of contractual performance are high discount factors, and contract designs that obey individual rationality and self-enforcement constraints, the empirical analysis suggests that other determinants such as a history of prior cooperation can matter as much, if not more, than the theoretical constraint conditions.
    Keywords: Financial Economics, Research Methods/ Statistical Methods
    Date: 2021–01

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