nep-evo New Economics Papers
on Evolutionary Economics
Issue of 2021‒11‒08
six papers chosen by
Matthew Baker
City University of New York

  1. The Roots of Cooperation By Zvonimir Bašic; Parampreet C. Bindra; Daniela Glätzle-Rützler; Angelo Romano; Matthias Sutter; Claudia Zoller
  2. The Interplay Between Colonial History and Postcolonial Institutions: Evidence from Cameroon By Marie Christelle Mabeu; Roland Pongou
  3. Religion and Tradition in Conflict Experimentally Testing the Power of Social Norms to Invalidate Religious Law By Christoph Engel; Klaus Heine; Shaheen Naseer
  4. Nudging Enforcers: How Norm Perceptions and Motives for Lying Shape Sanctions By Eugen Dimant; Tobias Gesche
  5. Do patents really foster innovation in the pharmaceutical sector? Results from an evolutionary, agent-based model By Giovanni Dosi; Elisa Palagi; Andrea Roventini; Emanuele Russo
  6. The Cliometrics of Onomastics: Modeling Who's Who in Ancient Greece By Laurent Gauthier

  1. By: Zvonimir Bašic (Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods); Parampreet C. Bindra (University of Innsbruck); Daniela Glätzle-Rützler (University of Innsbruck); Angelo Romano (Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods); Matthias Sutter (Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods, University of Cologne, University of Innsbruck, IZA Bonn, and CESifo Munich); Claudia Zoller (Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods)
    Abstract: Understanding the roots of human cooperation among strangers is of great importance for solving pressing social dilemmas and maintening public goods in human societies. We study the development of cooperation in 929 young children, aged 3 to 6. In a unified experimental framework, we examine which of three fundamental pillars of human cooperation – direct and indirect reciprocity as well as third-party punishment – emerges earliest as an effective means to increase cooperation in a repeated prisoner’s dilemma game. We find that third-party punishment exhibits a strikingly positive effect on cooperation rates by doubling them in comparison to a control condition. It promotes cooperative behavior even before punishment of defectors is applied. Children also engage in reciprocating others, showing that reciprocity strategies are already prevalent at a very young age. However, direct and indirect reciprocity treatments do not increase overall cooperation rates, as young children fail to anticipate the benefits of reputation building. We also show that the cognitive skills of children and the socioeconomic background of parents play a vital role in the early development of human cooperation.
    Keywords: Cooperation, reciprocity, third-party punishment, reputation, children, parents, cognitive abilities, socioeconomic status, prisoner’s dilemma game, experiment
    JEL: C91 C93 D01 D91 H41
    Date: 2021–06–11
  2. By: Marie Christelle Mabeu; Roland Pongou (Department of Economics, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, ON)
    Abstract: We study the long-term impacts of Cameroon's colonial history and its interplay with postcolonial institutions. We exploit both the arbitrary division of the German Colony of Kamerun between France and Britain after World War I and the 1961 reunification of British Southern Cameroons and the French-speaking République du Cameroun. Comparing individuals from the same ethnic homeland but living on either side of the British-French border within Cameroon, we find that individuals on the British side had higher educational attainment before the reunification, but that this initial advantage was partially erased by post-reunification governance. Despite achieving higher educational attainment overall, individuals on the British side have worse employment outcomes and roughly similar infant mortality rates. We provide further evidence of the interaction between colonial origins and postcolonial institutions by analyzing how the outcomes of individuals in former Southern Cameroons differ from their hypothetical outcomes, had they instead opted to join Nigeria in the 1961 plebiscite. We find that they have lower educational attainment, higher infant mortality rates, and worse employment outcomes relative to their co-ethnics living on the Nigerian side of the border between former Southern Cameroons and Nigeria.
    Keywords: Colonial history, Postcolonial institutions, Cameroon, British Southern Cameroons, French Cameroons, République du Cameroun, Reunification, Federalism, Centralization.
    Date: 2021
  3. By: Christoph Engel (Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods); Klaus Heine (Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR), Erasmus School of Law); Shaheen Naseer (Lahore School of Economics)
    Abstract: Often, religion, law and tradition co-evolve. Religious precepts shape social practice, which translates into law. Yet this harmony is not universal. The Sharia guarantees daughters their share in the family estate. Yet in Pakistan, this rule clashes with tradition. While the country was jointly governed with (mainly Hindu) India, it had been customary that the entire estate goes to the eldest son. Combining a survey with a lab in the field experiment, we show that this is still the descriptive and the injunctive norm. Yet participants have a strong preference for the conflict to be dissolved by legislative intervention.
    Keywords: religious norm, legal rule, descriptive and injunctive social norm, inheritance, gender discrimination, Sharia, experiment
    JEL: C91 C93 D01 D15 D31 D63 J16 K00 O12 O53 R22
    Date: 2021–05–10
  4. By: Eugen Dimant; Tobias Gesche
    Abstract: The enforcement of social norms is the fabric of a functioning society. Through the lens of mul-tiple studies using different methodologies (a behavioral experiment and a vignette experiment in Study 1, as well as a norm elicitation experiment in Study 2), we examine how motives for lying and norm perceptions steer norm enforcement. Pursuing a pre-registered three-part data collection effort, our study investigates the extent to which norm breaches are sanctioned, how norm-nudges affect punishment behavior, and how enforcement links to norm perceptions. Using a representative sample of U.S. participants, we provide robust evidence that norm-enforcement is not only sensitive to the magnitude of the observed transgression (= size of the lie) but also to the consequence of the transgression (= whether the lie remedies or creates payoff inequalities). We also find that norm enforcers are sensitive to different norm-nudges that convey social in-formation about actual lying behavior or its social disapproval. Importantly, these results hold both in the behavioral experiment and in an add-on vignette study that confirm the robustness of our findings in the context of whistleblowing. To explain the punishment patterns of the behavioral experiment in Study 1, we subsequently examine how norms are perceived across dif-ferent transgressions and how norm-nudges change these perceptions. We find that social norm perceptions are malleable: norm-nudges are most effective when preexisting norms are vague. Importantly, we find that punishment patterns in the first experiment closely follow these norm perceptions. With that, our findings suggest that norm enforcement can be nudged successfully.
    Keywords: lying, norm-nudges, nudging, punishment, social norms
    JEL: B41 D01 D90
    Date: 2021
  5. By: Giovanni Dosi; Elisa Palagi; Andrea Roventini; Emanuele Russo
    Abstract: The role of the patent system in the pharmaceutical sector is highly debated also due to its strong public health implications. In this paper we develop an evolutionary, agent-based model of the pharmaceutical industry to explore the impact of different configurations of the patent system upon innovation and competition. The model is able to replicate the main stylized facts of the drug industry as emergent properties. We perform policy experiments to assess the impact of different IPR regimes changing the breadth and length of patents. Results suggest that enlarging the extent and duration of patents yields adverse effects in terms of innovation outcomes, as well as of market competition and consumer welfare. Such general conclusions hold even if one takes into account the possible positive effects on R&D intensity and information disclosure triggered by patents.
    Keywords: Innovation; Intellectual property rights; Market power; Pharmaceutical sector; Agent-based models.
    Date: 2021–10–28
  6. By: Laurent Gauthier (LED - Laboratoire d'Economie Dionysien - UP8 - Université Paris 8 Vincennes-Saint-Denis)
    Abstract: In ancient Greece, people carried a single name, and some names were quite common, while others were very rare. If these names were used to distinguish people, why didn't everybody have a different name? Looking into the manner in which the ancient Greeks picked names, we develop an economic model for the existence of names, as a way of exchanging identification information. Considering different information frameworks, we justify the exchange of names in this context as the best system in order to promote cooperation. We then study the optimal choice of names in these conditions and show that the impact of strategic naming on the distribution of names works as an alteration of existing mean-field approaches to name dynamics, which converge to power laws. Strategic naming adds a degree of freedom in the relationship between the observed number of names and the shape of the power law distribution. Confronting these results to empirical data from the archaic and classical periods, we observe that a form of conformist strategic naming could account for the particular shape of the name distribution in Ancient Greece, which differs from contemporary data.
    Keywords: Ancient Greece,prisonner's dilemma,onomastics,name distributions,power laws
    Date: 2021–10–07

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