nep-evo New Economics Papers
on Evolutionary Economics
Issue of 2022‒10‒17
six papers chosen by
Matthew Baker
City University of New York

  1. Patience and Comparative Development By Sunde, Uwe; Dohmen, Thomas; Enke, Benjamin; Falk, Armin; Huffmann, David; Meyerheim, Gerrit
  2. Fair Social Contracts and the Foundations of Large-Scale Collaboration By Beinhocker, Eric
  3. Conflict intensity in the region of birth increases religiosity among refugees By Frank van Tubergen1,2,; Yuliya Kosyakova; Agnieszka Kanas
  4. The Analogical Foundations of Cooperation By Philippe Jehiel; Larry Samuelson
  5. Causal Responsibility Attribution: Theory and Experimental Evidence By Florian Engl
  6. Informal Institution Meets Child Development: Clan Culture and Child Labor in China By Tang, Can; Zhao, Zhong

  1. By: Sunde, Uwe (LMU Munich); Dohmen, Thomas (University of Bonn); Enke, Benjamin (Harvard University); Falk, Armin (briq and University of Bonn); Huffmann, David (University of Pittsburgh); Meyerheim, Gerrit (LMU Munich)
    Abstract: This paper studies the relationship between patience and comparative development through a combination of reduced-form analyses and model estimations. Based on a globally representative dataset on time preference in 76 countries, we document two sets of stylized facts. First, patience is strongly correlated with per capita income and the accumulation of physical capital, human capital and productivity. These correlations hold across countries, subnational regions, and individuals. Second, the magnitude of the patience elasticity strongly increases in the level of aggregation. To provide an interpretive lens for these patterns, we analyze an OLG model in which savings and education decisions are endogenous to patience, aggregate production is characterized by capital-skill complementarities, and productivity implicitly depends on patience through a human capital externality. In our model estimations, general equilibrium effects alone account for a non-trivial share of the observed amplification effects, and an extension to human capital externalities can quantitatively match the empirical evidence.
    Keywords: time preference; comparative development; factor accumulation;
    JEL: D03 D90 O10 O30 O40
    Date: 2021–11–11
  2. By: Beinhocker, Eric
    Abstract: Large-scale collaborations with non-kin are a unique feature of human societies and foundational to human civilization. Individual relationships with collectives can be thought of as "social contracts". This article argues that perceptions of social contract fairness are essential for effective large-scale collaboration and that factors likely to create perceptions of fairness are subject to empirical analysis. Drawing on empirical behavioral and social science literature, the article proposes nine dimensions of social contract fairness. It further proposes that each dimension is distinct, imperfectly substitutable, and universal, although with individual and cultural variations in interpretations and preference weightings. Finally, the article applies the nine dimensions to the breakdown in political collaboration in the U.S. and argues that for large segments of the population, all nine dimensions of social contract fairness were broken during the mid-1970s-2010s. The article concludes with thoughts on social contract repair and further research into perceptions of social contract fairness.
    Keywords: Collaboration; fairness; social contracts; moral psychology; political populism
    Date: 2022–09
  3. By: Frank van Tubergen1,2, (Utrecht University,); Yuliya Kosyakova (University of Groningen); Agnieszka Kanas (University of Bamberg)
    Abstract: Do violent conflicts increase religiosity? This study draws on evidence from a large-scale survey on refugees in Germany linked with data on time-varying conflict intensity in refugees’ birth regions prior to the survey interview. The results show that the greater the number of conflict-induced fatalities in the period before the interview, the more often refugees pray. The relationship between conflict and praying holds equally across demographic subgroups. Evidence suggests that both short- and long-term cumulative fatalities in refugees’ birth regions affect how often they pray. Additionally, the link between conflict and praying is stronger for refugees who have family and relatives still living in their country of origin. Finally, we show that the conflicts that matter are those occurring within the refugees’ specific region of birth rather than in other regions in the country. Implications for existential insecurity theory and cultural evolutionary theory are discussed.
    Keywords: Religiosity, existential insecurity, refugees, praying, war
    Date: 2022–10
  4. By: Philippe Jehiel (PSE - Paris School of Economics - UP1 - Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne - ENS-PSL - École normale supérieure - Paris - PSL - Université Paris sciences et lettres - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - INRAE - Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement, PJSE - Paris Jourdan Sciences Economiques - UP1 - Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne - ENS-PSL - École normale supérieure - Paris - PSL - Université Paris sciences et lettres - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - INRAE - Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement, UCL - University College of London [London]); Larry Samuelson (Yale University [New Haven])
    Abstract: We offer an approach to cooperation in repeated games of private monitoring in which players construct models of their opponents' behavior by observing the frequencies of play in a record of past plays of the game in which actions but not signals are recorded. Players construct models of their opponent's behavior by grouping the histories in the record into a relatively small number of analogy classes to which they attach probabilities of cooperation. The incomplete record and the limited number of analogy classes lead to misspecified models that provide the incentives to cooperate. We provide conditions for the existence of equilibria supporting cooperation and equilibria supporting high payoffs for some nontrivial analogy partitions.
    Keywords: Analogical reasoning,Cooperation,Prisoners' dilemma,Repeated game,Private monitoring Analogical reasoning,Private monitoring
    Date: 2022–07
  5. By: Florian Engl
    Abstract: People often act out of a desire to be responsible for good and not for bad events. Similarly, people frequently reward and punish other people if they perceive them to be responsible for the implementation of events that they like or dislike. When the implementation of an event depends on the interaction of multiple persons and, potentially, moves of nature, the determinants of such responsibility perceptions are not well understood. In this paper, I propose a notion of causal responsibility which attempts to objectively capture the causal importance of a person’s action for the implementation of an event in such situations. A laboratory experiment shows that the notion successfully predicts people’s responsibility perceptions. Furthermore, I incorporate the notion in a framework of responsibility preferences and study its implications for worker motivation and the design of voting rules. Finally, I show that the notion can explain experimentally elicited behavior and punishment and reward patterns in multi-agent situations that are not well-explained by existing social preference theories.
    Keywords: responsibility, causal reasoning, social preferences
    JEL: C72 D03 D63 D70
    Date: 2022
  6. By: Tang, Can; Zhao, Zhong
    Abstract: Using a national representative sample, the China Family Panel Studies, this paper explores the influences of clan culture, a hallmark of Chinese cultural history, on the prevalence of child labor in China. We find that clan culture significantly reduces the incidence of child labor and working hours of child laborer. The results exhibit strong boy bias, and are driven by boys rather than girls, which reflects the patrilineal nature of Chinese clan culture. Moreover, the impact is greater on boys from households with lower socioeconomic status, and in rural areas. Clan culture acts as a supplement to formal institutions: reduces the incidence of child labor through risk sharing and easing credit constraints, and helps form social norms to promote human capital investment. We also employ an instrument variable approach and carry out a series of robustness checks to further confirm the findings.
    Keywords: Informal institution,Clan culture,Child labor,China
    JEL: J22 J81 O15
    Date: 2022

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