nep-evo New Economics Papers
on Evolutionary Economics
Issue of 2022‒06‒13
seven papers chosen by
Matthew Baker
City University of New York

  1. Historical prevalence of infectious diseases and gender equality in 122 countries By Omang Ombolo Messono; Simplice A. Asongu; Vanessa S. Tchamyou
  2. Witchcraft Beliefs Around the World: An Exploratory Analysis By Boris Gershman
  3. Gender Economics: Dead-Ends and New Opportunities By Lundberg, Shelly
  4. Motives for Cooperation in the One-Shot Prisoner’s Dilemma By Mark Schneider; Timothy Shields
  5. Complexity and Choice By Yuval Salant; Jorg L. Spenkuch
  6. On the recent philosophy of decision theory By Moscati, Ivan
  7. Traditional versus Behavioral Finance Theory By Assia Kamoune; Nafii Ibenrissoul

  1. By: Omang Ombolo Messono (University of Douala, Douala, Cameroon); Simplice A. Asongu (Yaoundé, Cameroon); Vanessa S. Tchamyou (Yaoundé, Cameroon)
    Abstract: This study examines the effects of the historical prevalence of infectious diseases on contemporary gender equality. Previous studies reveal the persistence of the effects of historical diseases on innovation, through the channel of culture. Drawing on the Parasite-Stress Theory, we propose a framework which argues that historical prevalence of infectious disease reduces contemporary gender equality. Using Ordinary Least Squares (OLS) and Two Stage Least Squares (2SLS) in a cross-section with data from 122 countries between 2000 and 2021, we provide support for the underlying hypothesis. Past diseases reduce gender equality both directly and indirectly. The strongest indirect effects occur through innovation output. Gender equality analysis may take these findings into account and incorporate disease pathogens into the design of international social policy.
    Keywords: Africa, Fixed broadband, Economic growth, Non-linear effects
    JEL: E23 F21 F30 L96 O55
    Date: 2022–01
  2. By: Boris Gershman
    Abstract: This paper presents a new global dataset on contemporary witchcraft beliefs and investigates their correlates. Witchcraft beliefs cut across socio-demographic groups but are less widespread among the more educated and economically secure. Country-level variation in the prevalence of witchcraft beliefs is systematically linked to a number of cultural, institutional, psychological, and socioeconomic characteristics. Consistent with their hypothesized function of maintaining order and cohesion in the absence of effective governance mechanisms, witchcraft beliefs are more widespread in countries with weak institutions and correlate positively with conformist culture and in-group bias. Among the documented potential costs of witchcraft beliefs are disrupted social relations, high levels of anxiety, pessimistic worldview, lack of entrepreneurial culture and innovative activity.
    Keywords: Conformity, Culture, Development, Happiness, Innovation, Institutions, Religion, Social capital, Witchcraft beliefs
    JEL: I31 O10 O31 O43 O57 Z10 Z12 Z13
    Date: 2022
  3. By: Lundberg, Shelly (University of California, Santa Barbara)
    Abstract: The economics literature on gender has expanded considerably in recent years, fueled in part by new sources of data, including from experimental studies of gender differences in preferences and other traits. At the same time, economists have been developing more realistic models of psychological and social influences on individual choices and the evolution of culture and social norms. Despite these innovations much of the economics of gender has been left behind, and still employs a reductive framing in which gender gaps in economic outcomes are either due to discrimination or to “choice.” I suggest here that the persistence of this approach is due to several distinctive economic habits of mind—strong priors driven by market bias and gender essentialism, a perspective that views the default economic agent as male, and an oft-noted tendency to avoid complex problems in favor of those that can be modeled simply. I also suggest some paths forward.
    Keywords: gender, culture, social norms, discrimination
    JEL: J16
    Date: 2022–04
  4. By: Mark Schneider (Culverhouse College of Business, University of Alabama); Timothy Shields (Argyros School of Business and Management, Economic Science Institute, Chapman University)
    Abstract: We investigate the motives for cooperation in the one-shot Prisoner’s Dilemma (PD). A prior study finds that cooperation rates in one-shot PD games can be ranked empirically by the social surplus from cooperation. That study employs symmetric payoffs from cooperation in simultaneous PD games. Hence, in that setting, it is not possible to discern the motives for cooperation since three prominent social welfare criteria, social surplus (efficiency) preferences, Rawlsian maximin preferences, and inequity aversion make the same predictions. In the present paper, we conduct an experiment to identify which of these social preferences best explains differences in cooperation rates and to study the effects of the risk of non-cooperation.
    Keywords: Cooperation; Prisoner’s Dilemma; Inequity aversion; Social surplus; Social preferences
    JEL: C92 D82 D81 M40
    Date: 2022
  5. By: Yuval Salant; Jorg L. Spenkuch
    Abstract: We develop a model of satisficing with evaluation errors that incorporates complexity at the level of individual alternatives. We test the model predictions in a novel data set with information on hundreds of millions of chess moves by experienced players. Consistent with the theory, complex optimal moves are chosen less frequently than simpler ones. Choice frequencies of suboptimal moves follow the opposite pattern. The former finding distinguishes satisficing from a large class of maximization-based models. We further document that skill and time moderate the adverse effect of complexity, and that they complement each other in doing so. Finally, we provide evidence that suboptimal behavior also hinges on the composition of the choice set but not its size. Our findings help to shed some of the first light on the importance of complexity outside of the laboratory.
    JEL: D00 D01 D03 D9 D90
    Date: 2022–04
  6. By: Moscati, Ivan
    Abstract: In the philosophy of economics, the last fifteen years have witnessed an intense discussion about the epistemological status of economic models of decision making and their theoretical components, such as the concept of preference. In this article I offer a selective review of this discussion and indicate the directions in which I believe it should evolve.
    Keywords: behaviorism; choice; heuristics; mentalism; naturalism; Preference; scientific realism and antirealism
    JEL: J1
    Date: 2021–01–02
  7. By: Assia Kamoune (ENCG - Ecole Nationale de Commerce et de Gestion - UH2MC - Université Hassan II [Casablanca]); Nafii Ibenrissoul (ENCG - Ecole Nationale de Commerce et de Gestion - UH2MC - Université Hassan II [Casablanca])
    Abstract: According to traditional finance theorists, in an efficient market, investors think and behave "rationally" when trading, buying, and selling stocks, and each investor considers carefully all available information before making any trading or investment decisions. The theory of the financial market efficiency or efficient market hypothesis (EMH) corresponds to the theory of competitive equilibrium applied to the financial securities market. Indeed, efficiency assumes the atomicity of the market actors and that all the participants are in active competition with the aim of maximizing profits, so that none of them can alone influence the level of prices which will establish themselves in the market. However, behavioral finance, whose main purpose is to study the real behavior of investors in the financial markets, based on social and cognitive psychology, has come to demonstrate with convincing evidence that investors make major systematic errors and that psychological biases affect investors' investment decision-making. In other words, behavioral finance claims that investors tend to have psychological and emotional biases that lead to making irrational investment decisions. In this article, we will try in thefirst part to examine the nature and the extent of knowledge on the theory of the financial markets efficiency, one of the fundamental paradigms in traditional finance. Despite its considerable contribution to economic and financial theory, it has been hotly contested in recent years. In the second part,we will focus on the theory of behavioral finance, its main theory (prospect theory), its main biases and heuristics as well as its contribution and its limits.
    Abstract: Selon les théoriciens de la finance traditionnelle, dans un marché efficient, les investisseurs pensent et se comportent « rationnellement » lorsqu'ils négocient, achètent et vendent des actions, et chaque investisseur tient soigneusement compte de toutes les informations disponibles avant de prendre des décisions d'investissement. La théorie de l'efficience des marchés financiers correspond à la théorie de l'équilibre concurrentiel appliquée au marché des titres financiers. En effet, l'efficience suppose l'atomicité des agents et que les participants sont en concurrence active dans le but de réaliser des profits, de telle sorte qu'aucun d'entre eux ne puisse à lui seul influencer sur le niveau des prix qui s'établiront sur le marché.Cependant, la finance comportementale, ayant pour finalité l'étude des comportements réels des investisseurs au niveau des marchés financiers, en se basant sur la psychologie sociale etcognitive, est venue démontrer avec des preuves convaincantes que les investisseurs commettent des erreurs systématiques majeures et que les biais psychologiques affectent la prise de décision d'investissement des investisseurs. En d'autres termes, la finance comportementale prétend que les investisseurs ont tendance à avoir des préjugés psychologiques et émotionnels qui conduisent à l'irrationalité. Dans cet article, nous allons essayer dans une première partie d'examiner la nature et l'étendue des connaissances sur la théorie de l'efficience des marchés financiers l'un des paradigmes fondamentaux en finance traditionnelle. En dépit de son apport considérable à la théorie économique et financière, elle se trouve vivement contestée depuis ces dernières années. En deuxième partie, nous allons nous focaliser sur la théorie de la finance comportementale, sa principale théorie (théorie des perspectives), ses principaux biais et heuristiques ainsi que son apport et ses limites.
    Keywords: Standard finance,Behavioral finance,Efficient market theory,Prospect theory,behavioral biases.
    Date: 2022

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