nep-evo New Economics Papers
on Evolutionary Economics
Issue of 2021‒06‒14
four papers chosen by
Matthew Baker
City University of New York

  1. Memory Retrieval and Harshness of Conflict in the Hawk-Dove Game By Ennio Bilancini; Leonardo Boncinelli; Sebastian Ille; Eugenio Vicario
  2. Religion in Economic History: A Survey By Becker, Sascha O.; Rubin, Jared; Woessmann, Ludger
  3. Pro-social Motivations, Externalities and Incentives By Raphael Soubeyran
  4. Calamities, Common Interests, Shared Identity: What Shapes Altruism and Reciprocity? By Aksoy, Cevat Giray; Cabrales, Antonio; Dolls, Mathias; Durante, Ruben; Windsteiger, Lisa

  1. By: Ennio Bilancini; Leonardo Boncinelli; Sebastian Ille; Eugenio Vicario
    Abstract: We study the long-run dynamics of a repeated non-symmetric Haw-Dove type interaction between agents of two different populations. Agents choose a strategy based on their previous experience with the other population by sampling from a collective memory of past interactions. We assume that the sample size differs between populations and define a measure of harshness of conflict in the Hawk-Dove interaction. We then show how the properties of the long-run equilibrium depend on the harshness of conflict and the relative length of the sample. In symmetric interactions, if conflict is harsh, the population which samples relatively more past interactions is able to appropriate a higher payoff in the long-run, while the population with a relatively smaller sample do so if conflict is mild. These results hold subject to constraints on the sample size which we discuss in detail. We further extend our results to non-symmetric Hawk-Dove games.
    Keywords: conflict, memory, hawk dove, evolution, stochastic stability
    Date: 2021
  2. By: Becker, Sascha O.; Rubin, Jared; Woessmann, Ludger
    Abstract: This chapter surveys the recent social science literature on religion in economic history, covering both socioeconomic causes and consequences of religion. Following the rapidly growing literature, it focuses on the three main monotheisms-Judaism, Christianity, and Islam-and on the period up to WWII. Works on Judaism address Jewish occupational specialization, human capital, emancipation, and the causes and consequences of Jewish persecution. One set of papers on Christianity studies the role of the Catholic Church in European economic history since the medieval period. Taking advantage of newly digitized data and advanced econometric techniques, the voluminous literature on the Protestant Reformation studies its socioeconomic causes as well as its consequences for human capital, secularization, political change, technology diffusion, and social outcomes. Works on missionaries show that early access to Christian missions still has political, educational, and economic consequences in present-day Africa, Asia, and Latin America. Much of the economics of Islam focuses on the role that Islam and Islamic institutions played in political-economy outcomes and in the "long divergence" between the Middle East and Western Europe. Finally, cross-country analyses seek to understand the broader determinants of religious practice and its various effects across the world. We highlight three general insights that emerge from this literature. First, the monotheistic character of the Abrahamic religions facilitated a close historical interconnection of religion with political power and conflict. Second, human capital often played a leading role in the interconnection between religion and economic history. Third, many socioeconomic factors matter in the historical development of religions.
    Keywords: Christianity; economic history; Education; Finance; Islam; Judaism; persecution; political economy; specialization; Trade
    JEL: I15 I25 J15 N00 Z12
    Date: 2020–06
  3. By: Raphael Soubeyran (CEE-M - Centre d'Economie de l'Environnement - Montpellier - UMR 5211 - UM - Université de Montpellier - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - Montpellier SupAgro - Institut national d’études supérieures agronomiques de Montpellier - Institut Agro - Institut national d'enseignement supérieur pour l'agriculture, l'alimentation et l'environnement - INRAE - Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement)
    Abstract: This paper analyzes how pro-social motivations shape the relationship between incentives and inequality. I consider a principal who offers individual rewards to a group of agents to induce them to exert effort and to coordinate at least-cost. The agents value the payoffs of the other agents, and they are averse to inequality. My analysis highlights that pro-social motivations have an a priori ambiguous effect on inequality in the reward distribution. Despite this initial ambiguity, I show that the rewards are more unequal and lower when the agents have pro-social preferences. The model delivers empirical implications for intervention programs supporting the adoption of new health or agricultural technologies.
    Keywords: incentives,externality,principal,agents,coordination,pro-social preferences
    Date: 2021–04–30
  4. By: Aksoy, Cevat Giray (European Bank for Reconstruction and Development); Cabrales, Antonio (University College London); Dolls, Mathias (Ifo Institute for Economic Research); Durante, Ruben (CEPR); Windsteiger, Lisa (Max Planck Institute for Tax Law and Public Finance)
    Abstract: We conduct a large-scale survey experiment in nine European countries to study how priming a major crisis (COVID-19), common economic interests, and a shared identity influences altruism, reciprocity and trust of EU citizens. We find that priming the COVID-19 pandemic increases altruism and reciprocity towards compatriots, citizens of other EU countries, and non-EU citizens. Priming common European values also boosts altruism and reciprocity but only towards compatriots and fellow Europeans. Priming common economic interests has no tangible impact on behaviour. Trust in others is not affected by any treatment. Our results are consistent with the parochial altruism hypothesis, which asserts that because altruism arises out of inter-group conflict, humans show a tendency to favor members of their own groups.
    Keywords: COVID-19, Europe, altruism, reciprocity, survey experiment
    JEL: D72 H51 H53 H55 O52 P52
    Date: 2021–06

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