nep-evo New Economics Papers
on Evolutionary Economics
Issue of 2022‒04‒04
five papers chosen by
Matthew Baker
City University of New York

  1. The Shadow of the Neolithic Revolution on Life Expectancy: A Double-Edged Sword By Franck, Raphael; Galor, Oded; Moav, Omer; Özak, Ömer
  2. An evolutionary explanation for why the prior beliefs can be assumed to coincide with the correct ones in the simple Bayesian hypothesis testings By Mitsunobu MIYAKE
  3. The determinants of population self-control By Cobb-Clark, Deborah A.; Dahmann, Sarah Christina; Kamhöfer, Daniel A.; Schildberg-Hörisch, Hannah
  4. On the evolutionary stability of the sentiment investor By Andrea Antico; Giulio Bottazzi; Daniele Giachini
  5. Darwin Among the Cryptocurrencies By Bernhard K. Meister; Henry C. W. Price

  1. By: Franck, Raphael; Galor, Oded; Moav, Omer; Özak, Ömer (Southern Methodist University)
    Abstract: This research explores the persistent effect of the Neolithic Revolution on the evolution of life expectancy in the course of human history. It advances the hypothesis and establishes empirically that the onset of the Neolithic Revolution and the associated rise in infectious diseases triggered a process of adaptation reducing mortality from infectious diseases while increasing the propensity for autoimmune and inflammatory diseases. Exploiting an exogenous source of variation in the timing of the Neolithic Revolution across French regions, the analysis establishes the presence of these conflicting forces - the beneficial effects on life expectancy before the second epidemiological transition and their adverse effects thereafter.
    Date: 2022–03–01
  2. By: Mitsunobu MIYAKE
    Abstract: This paper considers an evolutional process, where a simple Bayesian hypothesis testing is conducted repeatedly in parallel by many testing agents with diversified prior beliefs. Assuming that each of the agents selects a (one-shot) testing strategy to maximize the fitness value believing that the (own) prior belief is true, it is shown that only the testing agents endowed with the correct prior beliefs are survived eventually. This result provides an explanation for why the prior belief of the agent can be assumed to coincide with the correct one in the Bayesian hypothesis testing, as if the agent knows the true probability assigned by the nature, without introducing the longterm learning processes.
    Date: 2022–02–18
  3. By: Cobb-Clark, Deborah A.; Dahmann, Sarah Christina; Kamhöfer, Daniel A.; Schildberg-Hörisch, Hannah
    Abstract: This paper demonstrates that structural factors can shape people's self-control. We study the determinants of adult self-control using population-representative data and exploiting two sources of quasi-experimental variation|Germany's division and compulsory schooling reforms. We find that former East Germans have substantially higher levels of self-control than West Germans and provide evidence for suppression as a possible underlying mechanism. An increase in compulsory schooling had no causal effect on self-control. Moreover, we find that self-control increases linearly with age. In contrast to previous findings for children, there is no gender gap in adult self-control and family background does not predict self-control.
    Keywords: determinants of self-control,quasi-experiments,German division,compulsory schooling reforms,population-representative evidence,Brief Self-Control Scale
    JEL: D90 C26
    Date: 2022
  4. By: Andrea Antico; Giulio Bottazzi; Daniele Giachini
    Abstract: The behavioural finance literature attributes the persistent market misvaluation observed in real data to the presence of deviations from rational thinking of the actors involved. Cognitive biases and the use of simple heuristics can be described using expected utility maximising agents that adopt incorrect beliefs. Along these lines, Barberis et al. (1998) introduce a model which is able to replicate the behavior of both under-reaction and over-reaction to news. The representative agent they consider is characterized by an imperfect learning model. An interesting question that emerges is if, and to what degree, the heuristic mechanism they propose is evolutionary stable, that is how resilient is their representative agent to other agents possibly trading in the market. In fact, if the biased agent asymptotically disappears from the market, the misvaluation patters generated by its behavior does not survive in the long term. The present paper investigates this question comparing the performance of the agent described in Barberis et al. (1998) with the one of a pure Bayesian competitor.
    Keywords: Learning; Market Selection; Investor Sentiment; Model Misspecification; Financial Markets.
    Date: 2022–03–07
  5. By: Bernhard K. Meister; Henry C. W. Price
    Abstract: The paper highlights some commonalities between the development of cryptocurrencies and the evolution of ecosystems. Concepts from evolutionary finance embedded in toy models consistent with stylized facts are employed to understand what survival of the fittest means in cryptofinance. Stylized facts for ownership, trading volume and market capitalization of cryptocurrencies are selectively presented in terms of scaling laws.
    Date: 2022–02

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