nep-evo New Economics Papers
on Evolutionary Economics
Issue of 2021‒04‒26
five papers chosen by
Matthew Baker
City University of New York

  1. The Great Transition: Kuznets Facts for Family-Economists By Jeremy Greenwood; Nezih Guner; Ricardo Marto
  2. Energy, knowledge, and Demo-Economic Development in the Long-Run : A Unified Growth Model By Emmanuel Bovari; Victor Court
  3. Homophily, Peer Effects, and Dishonesty By Liza Charroin; Bernard Fortin; Marie Villeval
  4. Culture, institutions and democratization. By Gorodnichenko, Yuriy; Roland, Gerard
  5. Cliometrics: Past, Present, and Future. By Claude Diebolt; Michael Haupert

  1. By: Jeremy Greenwood; Nezih Guner; Ricardo Marto
    Abstract: The 20th century beheld a dramatic transformation of the family. Some Kuznets style facts regarding structural change in the family are presented. Over the course of the 20th century in the United States fertility declined, educational attainment waxed, housework fell, leisure increased, jobs shifted from blue to white collar, and marriage waned. These trends are also observed in the cross-country data. A model is developed, and then calibrated, to address the trends in the US data. The calibration procedure is closely connected to the underlying economic logic. Three drivers of the great transition are considered: neutral technological progress, skilled-biased technological change, and drops in the price of labor-saving household durables.
    JEL: D10 E13 J10 O10
    Date: 2021–04
  2. By: Emmanuel Bovari (UP1 - Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne); Victor Court (IFP School, IFPEN - IFP Energies nouvelles - IFPEN - IFP Energies nouvelles)
    Abstract: Because energy is usually absent from modern growth analysis, Unified growth models designed to study the economic take-off process have tended to focus on the role of human capital accumulation and its interaction with technical change. However, prominent economic historians claim that the transition to coal and its use in steam engines was the main driver of the Industrial Revolution. In order to try to reunite these diverging point of views, we provide in this article a quantitative analysis of the role of energy in long-term growth, accounting for the interaction between human capital accumulation and technological change. To do so, we design a unified growth model featuring fertility and educational choices, energy resources extraction, directed technical change, and endogenous general purpose technologies (GPTs) diffusion. The associated energy transition results from the endogenous shortage in the availability of renewable resources (wood), and the arrival of new GPTs that, together, redirect technical change towards the exploitation of previously unprofitable exhaustible energy (coal). A calibrated version of the model replicates the historical episode of the British Industrial Revolution, for which counterfactual simulations are performed to characterize the impact of the energy transition on the timing and magnitude of the economic take-off. Another numerical exercise provides a comparative analysis of Western Europe and Eastern Asia, emphasizing the relevance of discrepancies in terms of energy resources accessibility to explain the diverging dynamics of these two world regions. Our findings show that, whenever demographic dynamics and human capital accumulation are accounted for, energy use appears as a vital catalyst for the economic take-off process.
    Keywords: Unified Growth Theory,Directed Technical Change,Energy Transition,Demographic Transition
    Date: 2020–05
  3. By: Liza Charroin (CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - UP1 - Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, UP1 - Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne); Bernard Fortin (Département d'Economique, Université Laval - ULaval - Université Laval [Québec], CIRPEE - Centre interuniversitaire sur le risque, les politiques économiques et l'emploi [Montréal] - UQAM - Université du Québec à Montréal = University of Québec in Montréal, CIRANO - Centre interuniversitaire de recherche en analyse des organisations - UQAM - Université du Québec à Montréal = University of Québec in Montréal, IZA - Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit - Institute of Labor Economics); Marie Villeval (GATE Lyon Saint-Étienne - Groupe d'analyse et de théorie économique - ENS Lyon - École normale supérieure - Lyon - UL2 - Université Lumière - Lyon 2 - UCBL - Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1 - Université de Lyon - UJM - Université Jean Monnet [Saint-Étienne] - Université de Lyon - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, IZA - Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit - Institute of Labor Economics)
    Abstract: If individuals tend to behave like their peers, is it because of conformity, that is, the preference of people to align behavior with the behavior of their peers; homophily, that is, the tendency of people to bond with similar others; or both? We address this question in the context of an ethical dilemma. Using a peer effect model allowing for homophily, we designed a real-effort laboratory experiment in which individuals could misreport their performance to earn more. Our results reveal a preference for conformity and for homophily in the selection of peers, but only among participants who were cheating in isolation. The size of peer effects is similar when identical peers were randomly assigned and when they were selected by individuals. We thus jointly reject the presence of a self-selection bias in the peer effect estimates and of a link strength effect.
    Keywords: Peer Effects,Homophily,Dishonesty,Self-Selection Bias,Experiment
    Date: 2021–04
  4. By: Gorodnichenko, Yuriy; Roland, Gerard
    Abstract: We construct a model of revolution and transition to democracy under individualistic and collectivist cultures. The main result is that, despite facing potentially more challenging collective action problems, countries with individualistic cultures are more likely to end up adopting democracy earlier than countries with collectivist cultures. Our empirical analysis suggests a strong and robust association between individualistic cultures and average polity scores and durations of democracy, even after controlling for other determinants of democracy emphasized in the literature. We provide evidence that countries with collectivist cultures also are more likely to experience autocratic breakdowns and transitions from autocracy to autocracy.
    Keywords: Collective action, Collectivism, Culture, Democratization, Individualism
    Date: 2020–04–23
  5. By: Claude Diebolt; Michael Haupert
    Abstract: Cliometrics is the application of economic theory and quantitative methods to the study of economic history. The methodology rose to favor in economics departments in the 1960s. It grew to dominate the discipline over the next two decades, culminating in the awarding of the 1993 Nobel Prize in economics to two of its pioneers, Robert Fogel and Douglass North. Cliometrics has always had its share of critics, and some have blamed it for the diminished role that economic history had in economics programs in the 21st century.
    Keywords: Cliometrics, economic history, new economic history, multidisciplinary, methodology, quantitative.
    JEL: A12 N00 N01
    Date: 2021

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