nep-evo New Economics Papers
on Evolutionary Economics
Issue of 2022‒10‒24
six papers chosen by
Matthew Baker
City University of New York

  1. Evolutionarily stable preferences By Ingela Alger
  2. Enhanced "Green Nudging": Tapping the Channels of Cultural Transmission By Christian Cordes; Joshua Henkel
  3. Measuring "Group Cohesion" to Reveal the Power of Social Relationships in Team Production By Simon Gaechter; Chris Starmer; Fabio Tufano
  4. Evolutionary Economic Geography and Policy By Ron Boschma; ; ;
  5. Advances in the Economic Theory of Cultural Transmission By Alberto Bisin; Thierry Verdier
  6. Technology, Tradition, and Treatment of the Elderly By Matthew J. Baker; Joyce P. Jacobsen

  1. By: Ingela Alger (TSE - Toulouse School of Economics - UT1 - Université Toulouse 1 Capitole - Université Fédérale Toulouse Midi-Pyrénées - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - INRAE - Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement)
    Abstract: The 50-year old definition of an evolutionarily stable strategy provided a key tool for theorists to model ultimate drivers of behavior in social interactions. For decades economists ignored ultimate drivers and used models in which individuals choose strate-gies based on their preferences. This article summarizes some key findings in the literature on evolutionarily stable preferences, which in the past three decades has proposed models that combine the two approaches: Nature equips individuals with preferences, which deter-mine their strategy choices, which in turn determines evolutionary success. The objective is to highlight complementarities and potential avenues for future collaboration between biologists and economists.
    Date: 2022–09–06
  2. By: Christian Cordes; Joshua Henkel
    Abstract: This paper relates channels of cultural transmission to "green nudging". It studies the effectiveness of this behavioral policy measure as to the promotion of sustainable consumption. The impact of "green nudges" is constrained for it is subject to decay and temporary behavioral adjustments. We argue that "enhanced green nudges" incorporating social learning biases that are based on humans' evolved capacity for culture are more likely to entail persistent behavioral changes due to the inducement of preference learning. We consider biases based on norm psychology, conformity, self-similarity, and the influence of role models. Moreover, these biases' effectiveness in cultural transmission hinges on whether the learning environment resembles the one in which they evolved during human phylogeny. Hence, "enhanced green nudges" are instruments to lastingly introduce environmentally begin consumption patterns. Several scenarios based on a model of cultural evolution illustrate our arguments.
    Keywords: Nudging, Cultural evolution theory, Consumption, Social learning, Sustainability
    JEL: A12 B52 D00 Q01
    Date: 2022–09
  3. By: Simon Gaechter; Chris Starmer; Fabio Tufano
    Abstract: We introduce “group cohesion” to study the economic relevance of social relationships in team production. We operationalize measurement of group cohesion, adapting the “oneness scale” from psychology. A series of experiments, including a pre-registered replication, reveals strong positive associations between group cohesion and performance assessed in weak-link coordination games, with high-cohesion groups being very likely to achieve superior equilibria. In exploratory analysis, we identify beliefs rather than social preferences as the primary mechanism through which factors proxied by group cohesion influence group performance. Our evidence provides proof-of-concept for group cohesion as a useful tool for economic research and practice.
    Keywords: team work, group cohesion, social relationships, coordination, weak link games, experiments
    JEL: C92 D91
    Date: 2022
  4. By: Ron Boschma; ; ;
    Abstract: The literature of Evolutionary Economic Geography (EEG) has received little attention in Evolutionary Economics, despite overwhelming evidence that time-space dimensions are crucial to understand economic evolution. This chapter will focus on the relationship between EEG and regional policy. We will discuss how evolutionary principles like proximity, relatedness and path dependency have been used to construct regional innovation policy in the European Union.
    Keywords: Evolutionary Economic Geography, regional innovation policy, Smart Specialization, relatedness, complexity
    JEL: O25 O38 R11
    Date: 2022–10
  5. By: Alberto Bisin; Thierry Verdier
    Abstract: In this paper we survey recent advances in the economic theory of cultural transmission. We highlight three main themes on which the literature has made great progress in the last ten years: the domain of traits subject to cultural transmission, the micro-foundations for the technology of transmission, and feedback effects between culture, institutions, and various socio-economic environments. We conclude suggesting interesting areas for future research.
    JEL: O10 P16 P48
    Date: 2022–09
  6. By: Matthew J. Baker (Hunter College); Joyce P. Jacobsen (Hobart and William Smith Colleges)
    Abstract: We discuss the interrelationship between treatment of the elderly, production technology, technological progress, and transmission of culture using a model in which respect for the elderly is endogenous. We focus our analysis on the relative well-being of the elderly, and employ the model to explain cross-societal patterns in the relative well-being of the elderly, encompassing hunter-gatherer, subsistence agriculture, and modern, fully-developed societies. One result is that the cultivation of culture and norms for respect for the elderly bears a nonlinear relationship with the level of development and other fundamental features of the economy, such as the degree to which property rights are defined. We discuss how the elderly might be impacted by modern demographic, technological, and policy changes in both developing and developed economies.
    Keywords: Elderly Treatment, Social Security, Gift-Giving, Inter Vivos Transfers, Economic Growth
    JEL: J14 D13 D14 D15 O41 O42 O43 P51 J11
    Date: 2022

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