nep-evo New Economics Papers
on Evolutionary Economics
Issue of 2021‒10‒25
seven papers chosen by
Matthew Baker
City University of New York

  1. The content and structure of reputation domains across human societies: a view from the evolutionary social sciences By Zachary Garfield; Ryan Schacht; Emily Post; Dominique Ingram; Andrea Uehling; Shane Macfarlan
  2. Evolutionary Foundation for Heterogeneity in Risk Aversion By Yuval Heller; Ilan Nehama
  3. An Evolutionary Approach to Pollution Control in Competitive Markets By Ratul Lahkar; Vinay Ramani
  4. APOE4 is associated with elevated blood lipids and lower levels of innate immune biomarkers in a tropical Amerindian subsistence population By Angela Garcia; Caleb Finch; Margaret Gatz; Thomas S. Kraft; Daniel Eid Rodriguez; Daniel Cummings; Mia Charifson; Kenneth Buetow; Bret A. Beheim; Hooman Allayee; Gregory Thomas; Jonathan Stieglitz; Michael Gurven; Hillard Kaplan; Benjamin C. Trumble
  5. Knocking on Hell’s door. Dismantling hate with cultural consumption By Daria Denti; Alessandro Crociata; Alessandra Faggian
  6. AgriLOVE: agriculture, land-use and technical change in an evolutionary, agent-based model. By Matteo Coronese; Martina OCcelli; Francesco Lamperti; Andrea Roventini
  7. Individual environmental preferences and aggregate outcomes: an empirical agent-based model of forest landowner invasive species control By Atallah, Shadi S.

  1. By: Zachary Garfield (IAST - Institute for Advanced Study in Toulouse); Ryan Schacht; Emily Post; Dominique Ingram; Andrea Uehling; Shane Macfarlan
    Abstract: Reputations are an essential feature of human sociality and the evolution of cooperation and group living. Much scholarship has focused on reputations, yet typically on a narrow range of domains (e.g. prosociality and aggressiveness), usually in isolation. Humans can develop reputations, however, from any collective information. We conducted exploratory analyses on the content, distribution and structure of reputation domain diversity across cultures, using the Human Relations Area Files ethnographic database. After coding ethnographic texts on reputations from 153 cultures, we used hierarchical modelling, cluster analysis and text analysis to provide an empirical view of reputation domains across societies. Findings suggest: (i) reputational domains vary cross-culturally, yet reputations for cultural conformity, prosociality, social status and neural capital are widespread; (ii) reputation domains are more variable for males than females; and (iii) particular reputation domains are interrelated, demonstrating a structure consistent with dimensions of human uniqueness. We label these features: cultural group unity, dominance, neural capital, sexuality, social and material success and supernatural healing. We highlight the need for future research on the evolution of cooperation and human sociality to consider a wider range of reputation domains, as well as their social, ecological and gender-specific variability.
    Date: 2021–10–04
  2. By: Yuval Heller; Ilan Nehama
    Abstract: We examine the evolutionary basis for risk aversion with respect to aggregate risk. We study populations in which agents face choices between aggregate risk and idiosyncratic risk. We show that the choices that maximize the long-run growth rate are induced by a heterogeneous population in which the least and most risk averse agents are indifferent between aggregate risk and obtaining its linear and harmonic mean for sure, respectively. Moreover, approximately optimal behavior can be induced by a simple distribution according to which all agents have constant relative risk aversion, and the coefficient of relative risk aversion is uniformly distributed between zero and two.
    Date: 2021–10
  3. By: Ratul Lahkar (Ashoka University); Vinay Ramani (Indian Institute of Management, Vishakhapatnam)
    Abstract: We consider a large population of firms in a market environment. The firms are divided into a finite set of types, with each type being characterized by a distinct private cost function. Moreover, the firms generate an external cost like pollution in the production process. As a result, the Nash equilibrium outcome is not socially optimal. We propose an evolutionary implementation mechanism to achieve the socially optimal outcome. In contrast to the classical Pigouvian pricing and the VCG mechanism, evolutionarily implementation does not require the planner to know or elicit any private information from firms. Hence, it is informationally parsimonious. By imposing a tax equal to the current external damage being imposed by a firm, the planner can guide the evolution of the society towards the social optimum. The imposition of the tax generates a potential game whose potential function is the social welfare function of the model. Evolutionary dynamics converge to the maximizer of this function thereby evolutionarily implementing the social welfare maximizer.
    Keywords: Evolutionary Implementation; Negative Externality; Potential Games; Pigouvian Tax; Dominant Strategy Implementation
    Date: 2021–10
  4. By: Angela Garcia; Caleb Finch; Margaret Gatz; Thomas S. Kraft; Daniel Eid Rodriguez; Daniel Cummings; Mia Charifson; Kenneth Buetow; Bret A. Beheim; Hooman Allayee; Gregory Thomas; Jonathan Stieglitz (IAST - Institute for Advanced Study in Toulouse , UT1 - Université Toulouse 1 Capitole - Université Fédérale Toulouse Midi-Pyrénées); Michael Gurven; Hillard Kaplan; Benjamin C. Trumble
    Abstract: In post-industrial settings, apolipoprotein E4 (APOE4) is associated with increased cardiovascular and neurological disease risk. However, the majority of human evolutionary history occurred in environments with higher pathogenic diversity and low cardiovascular risk. We hypothesize that in high-pathogen and energy-limited contexts, the APOE4 allele confers benefits by reducing innate inflammation when uninfected, while maintaining higher lipid levels that buffer costs of immune activation during infection. Among Tsimane forager-farmers of Bolivia (N = 1266, 50% female), APOE4 is associated with 30% lower C-reactive protein, and higher total cholesterol and oxidized LDL. Blood lipids were either not associated, or negatively associated with inflammatory biomarkers, except for associations of oxidized LDL and inflammation which were limited to obese adults. Further, APOE4 carriers maintain higher levels of total and LDL cholesterol at low body mass indices (BMIs). These results suggest that the relationship between APOE4 and lipids may be beneficial for pathogen-driven immune responses and unlikely to increase cardiovascular risk in an active subsistence population.
    Date: 2021–09–29
  5. By: Daria Denti; Alessandro Crociata; Alessandra Faggian
    Abstract: How local cultural activities influence development and human behaviour is gaining growing attention in economic geography. Small scale experimental evidence shows that cultural consumption is effective in countering hate. This is crucial, as hate, in turn, has a negative influence on the socioeconomic performance of places. Still, little is known on this, outside few more qualitative case studies. This paper provides a quantitative measure of the impact of cultural consumption on hate events in the Italian NUTS3 regions. IV estimation using a unique longitudinal database, with georeferenced hate manifestations and a population-based measure for cultural consumption, shows that cultural consumption determines a reduction in hate events. Our findings support the idea that cultural change acts a key enabling factor for people open-mindedness and inclusiveness of places. Moreover, our results hold even after various robustness checks, suggesting the need for policy interventions promoting cultural consumption.
    Keywords: hate, discontent, cultural economics, spillovers, social capital
    JEL: D31 H0 I J15 Z1
    Date: 2021–10
  6. By: Matteo Coronese; Martina OCcelli; Francesco Lamperti; Andrea Roventini
    Abstract: This paper presents a novel agent-based model of land use and technological change in the agricultural sector under environmental boundaries, finite available resources and changing land productivity. In particular, we model a spatially explicit economy populated by boundedly-rational farmers competing and innovating to fulfill an exogenous demand for food, while coping with a changing environment shaped by their production choices. Given the strong technological and environmental uncertainty, farmers learn and adaptively employ heuristics which guide their decisions on engaging in innovation and imitation activities, hiring workers, acquiring new farms, deforesting virgin areas and abandoning unproductive lands. Such activities in turn impact on land productivity, food production, food prices and land use. We firstly show that the model can replicate key stylized facts of the agricultural sector. We then extensively explore its properties across several scenarios featuring different institutional and behavioral settings. Finally, we showcase the properties of model in different applications considering deforestation and land abandonment; soil degradation; and climate impacts.
    Keywords: Land use; Agent-based model; Technological change; Environmental boundaries; Sustainability.
    Date: 2021–10–17
  7. By: Atallah, Shadi S.
    Keywords: Environmental Economics and Policy, Research Methods/Statistical Methods, Community/Rural/Urban Development
    Date: 2021–08

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