nep-evo New Economics Papers
on Evolutionary Economics
Issue of 2023‒01‒23
seven papers chosen by
Matthew Baker
City University of New York

  1. Κατευθύνσεις της εξελικτικής οικονομικής θεωρίας και η προσέγγιση Stra.Tech.Man: Πρόσφατα εμπειρικά δεδομένα από την Ανατολική Μακεδονία και Θράκη [Directions of evolutionary economic theory and the Stra.Tech.Man approach: Recent empirical data from Eastern Macedonia and Thrace] By Chatzinikolaou, Dimos; Vlados, Charis
  2. An individual evolutionary learning model meets Cournot By Jasmina Arifovic; Liang Dia; Nobuyuki Hanaki
  3. Rational Inattention: A Review By Bartosz Maćkowiak; Filip Matějka; Mirko Wiederholt
  4. Homophily and Transmission of Behavioral Traits in Social Networks By Bhargava, Palaash; Chen, Daniel L.; Sutter, Matthias; Terrier, Camille
  5. Life Cycle Economics with Infectious and Chronic Diseases By Holger Strulik; Volker Grossmann
  6. A pure theory of population distribution when preferences are ordinal By Stark, Oded; Kosiorowski, Grzegorz
  7. Spontaneous Norms in Law and Economics: A Sketch Typology By Zdybel, Karol B.

  1. By: Chatzinikolaou, Dimos (Democritus University of Thrace, Department of Economics); Vlados, Charis (Democritus University of Thrace, Department of Economics)
    Abstract: The present study aims to examine and summarize some of the fundamental contributions of evolutionary economic thought. It begins by presenting some of the central traits of the main theoretical antecedents of evolutionary economics, from its foundation to date, identifying the conceptual prerequisites for a specific analysis to fit into its framework and methodology. Next, the presentation focuses on relevant recent analytical contributions and the evolutionary theory of the firm. Finally, it presents the Stra.Tech.Man approach that analytically synthesizes the spheres of business strategy, technology, and management to interpret the phenomena of adaptation and innovation of contemporary organizations through an evolutionary perspective. In this context, the Stra.Tech.Man approach is an alternative basis for reframing business dynamics through an evolutionary perspective. In particular, this paper presents some central findings of recent studies in the less developed Greek region of Eastern Macedonia and Thrace, demonstrating that this evolutionary approach has analytical value and interpretive utility.
    JEL: B50 L19
    Date: 2022–12–05
  2. By: Jasmina Arifovic; Liang Dia; Nobuyuki Hanaki
    Abstract: In this paper, we extend the individual evolutionary learning model by incorporating other-regarding considerations and apply the model to some Cournot games. Using the model fitted to the experimental data of a repeated 3-player Cournot game (with nonlinear cost and demand functions), we construct out-of-sample predictions regarding the ``feedback effects'' and ``number effects'' and test these using data gathered via newly conducted experiments. The prediction regarding the feedback effect is only partially confirmed, being observed for 3- and 4-player games but not the 2-player game. The prediction regarding the number effect is also partially confirmed in that while the model predicts the number effect to be observed with detailed and not aggregate feedback, the effect is observed with both types of feedback.
  3. By: Bartosz Maćkowiak (CEPR - Center for Economic Policy Research - CEPR); Filip Matějka (CEPR - Center for Economic Policy Research - CEPR); Mirko Wiederholt (ECON - Département d'économie (Sciences Po) - Sciences Po - Sciences Po - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, CEPR - Center for Economic Policy Research - CEPR)
    Abstract: We review the recent literature on rational inattention, identify the main theoretical mechanisms, and explain how it helps us understand a variety of phenomena across fields of economics. The theory of rational inattention assumes that agents cannot process all available information, but they can choose which exact pieces of information to attend to. Several important results in economics have been built around imperfect information. Nowadays, many more forms of information than ever before are available due to new technologies, and yet we are able to digest little of it. Which form of imperfect information we possess and act upon is thus largely determined by which information we choose to pay attention to. These choices are driven by current economic conditions and imply behavior that features numerous empirically supported departures from standard models. Combining these insights about human limitations with the optimizing approach of neoclassical economics yields a new, generally applicable model.
    Date: 2022
  4. By: Bhargava, Palaash (Columbia University); Chen, Daniel L. (Toulouse School of Economics); Sutter, Matthias (Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods); Terrier, Camille (University of Lausanne)
    Abstract: Social networks are a key factor of success in life, but they are also strongly segmented on gender, ethnicity, and other demographic characteristics (Jackson, 2010). We present novel evidence on an understudied source of homophily, namely behavioral traits. Behavioral traits are important determinants of life-time outcomes. While recent work has focused on how these traits are influenced by the family environment or how they can be affected by childhood interventions, little is still known about how these traits are associated to social networks. Based on unique data that we collected using incentivized experiments on more than 2, 500 French high-school students, we find high levels of homophily across all ten behavioral traits that we study (including social, risk, competitive preferences, and aspirations). Notably, the extent of homophily depends on similarities in demographic characteristics, in particular with respect to gender. Furthermore, the larger the number of behavioral traits that students share, the higher the overall homophily. Then, using network econometrics, we show that the observed homophily is not only an outcome of endogenous network formation, but is also a result of friends influencing each others' behavioral traits. Importantly, the transmission of traits is larger when students share demographic characteristics, such as gender, have been friends for longer or are friends with more popular individuals.
    Keywords: homophily, social networks, behavioral traits, peer effects, experiments
    JEL: D85 C91 D01 D90
    Date: 2022–12
  5. By: Holger Strulik; Volker Grossmann
    Abstract: In this paper, we develop a life cycle model in which health and longevity are threatened by infectious and chronic diseases. The model captures that the susceptibility and severity of infectious diseases depend on the accumulated health deficits (immunosenescence) and that the life history of infections affects the accumulation of chronic health deficits (inammaging). Individuals invest in their health to slow down health deficit accumulation and take measures to protect themselves from infectious diseases. We calibrate the model for an average American and explore how health expenditure, life expectancy, and the value of life depend on individual characteristics, medical technology, and the disease environment. We then use counterfactual computational experiments of the U.S. epidemiological transition 1860-2010 to show that the decline of infectious diseases caused a substantial decline of chronic diseases and contributed more to increasing life expectancy than advances in the treatment of chronic diseases. Finally, we use the model to investigate behaviour and long-term health outcomes in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. We predict that the pandemic will shorten the life expectancy of middle-aged people almost as much as that of older people because of inammaging and the self-productivity of health deficits.
    Keywords: health behaviour, infections, health deficits, longevity, epidemiological transition, Covid-19, immonuosenescence, inflammaging
    JEL: D15 I10 I12 J24 J26
    Date: 2022
  6. By: Stark, Oded; Kosiorowski, Grzegorz
    Abstract: We model an environment in which individuals prefer to be in a space in which their rank is higher, be it a social space, a geographical space, a work environment, or any other comparison sphere which we refer to in this paper, and without loss of generality, as a region. When the individuals can choose between more than two regions, we inquire: (i) whether a steady-state distribution of the population is reached; (ii) how long it will take to reach a steady state; and (iii) if a steady state obtains, whether at the steady state social welfare is maximized. Despite the fact that when there are three or more regions the mobility paths are more intricate than when there are only two regions, we prove that a steady-state distribution of the population across the regions is reached; we identify the upper bound of the number of time periods that it will take to reach the steady-state distribution; and we show that the steady-state distribution maximizes social welfare. This last result is surprising: even though the individuals act of their own accord, they achieve the socially preferred outcome.
    Keywords: Community/Rural/Urban Development
    Date: 2023–01–11
  7. By: Zdybel, Karol B.
    Abstract: This article offers a concise typology of spontaneous norms - i.e., norms that are formed or sustained through decentralized collective behavior in a community. The typology combines three criteria for identifying spontaneous norms: (i) implicit formation of (customary) rules, as opposed to explicit formation; (ii) enforcement through decentralized sanctioning actions, as opposed to enforcement by a special social agent; (iii) private interpretation of compliance with rules, as opposed to the presence of a public interpreter of compliance. The paper also suggests how identified types can be modeled game-theoretically as repeated games. It is argued that structural differences between various types of spontaneous norms can be best understood as differences in the sequence of play in a stage game. Further, the typology is illustrated with examples from legal history and legal anthropology. Supposedly dissimilar systems of norms (e.g., customary international law and primitive law; norms of warfare and domestic social norms) are shown to exhibit structural resemblance.
    Keywords: spontaneous norms, custom, customary law, social norms, comparative legal history, typology
    JEL: B41 K00 N40 O17
    Date: 2023

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