nep-evo New Economics Papers
on Evolutionary Economics
Issue of 2023‒03‒06
eight papers chosen by
Matthew Baker
City University of New York

  1. Slavery and the British Industrial Revolution By Heblich, Stephan; Redding, Stephen J.; Voth, Hans-Joachim
  2. The Middle-Eastern marriage pattern? Malthusian dynamics in nineteenth-century Egypt By Kumon, Yuzuru; Saleh, Mohamed
  3. Integration Vs Cultural Persistence: Fertility and Working Time among Second-Generation Migrants in France By Thomas Baudin; Keiti Kondi
  4. Is Society caught up in a Death Spiral? Modeling Societal Demise and its Reversal By Schippers, M.C.; Ioannidis, J.P.A.; Luijks, M.W.J.
  5. The Effects of Hofstede's Cultural Dimensions on Pro-Environmental Behaviour: How Culture Influences Environmentally Conscious Behaviour By Szabolcs Nagy; Csilla Konyha Molnarne
  6. BEAST-Net: Learning novel behavioral insights using a neural network adaptation of a behavioral model By Shoshan, Vered; Hazan, Tamir; Plonsky, Ori
  7. Cooperative cultural groupings (extract) By Philippe Henry
  8. A Note on Salience of Own Preferences and the Consensus Effect By Thomas Dohmen; Simone Quercia; Jana Willrodt

  1. By: Heblich, Stephan; Redding, Stephen J.; Voth, Hans-Joachim
    Abstract: Did overseas slave-holding by Britons accelerate the Industrial Revolution? We provide theory and evidence on the contribution of slave wealth to Britain's growth prior to 1835. We compare areas of Britain with high and low exposure to the colonial plantation economy, using granular data on wealth from compensation records. Before the major expansion of slave holding from the 1640s onwards, both types of area exhibited similar levels of economic activity. However, by the 1830s, slavery wealth is strongly correlated with economic development - slave-holding areas are less agricultural, closer to cotton mills, and have higher property wealth. We rationalize these findings using a dynamic spatial model, where slavery investment raises the return to capital accumulation, expanding production in capital-intensive sectors. To establish causality, we use arguably exogenous variation in slave mortality on the passage from Africa to the Indies, driven by weather shocks. We show that weather shocks influenced the continued involvement of ancestors in the slave trade; weather-induced slave mortality of slave-trading ancestors in each area is strongly predictive of slaveholding in 1833. Quantifying our model using the observed data, we find that Britain would have been substantially poorer and more agricultural in the absence of overseas slave wealth. Overall, our findings are consistent with the view that slavery wealth accelerated Britain's industrial revolution.
    Keywords: industrial revolution; overseas slave-holding; slavery wealth
    JEL: J15 N63
    Date: 2022–11–16
  2. By: Kumon, Yuzuru; Saleh, Mohamed
    Abstract: Malthus predicted that fertility rises with income and that people regulate fertility via regulating marriage. However, evidence on the Malthusian equilibrium has been mostly confined to Europe and East Asia. We employ Egypt's population censuses of 1848 and 1868 to provide the first evidence on the preindustrial Malthusian dynamics in the Middle East and North Africa. At the aggregate level, we document rural Egyptian women having a high fertility rate that is close to the Western European level, combined with low age at marriage and low celibacy rate, that are closer to the East Asian levels. This resulted in a uniquely high fertility regime that was probably offset by the high child mortality. Next, we provide individual-level evidence on the positive correlation between fertility and income (occupation). We find that the higher fertility of rural white-collar men is attributed to their marriage behaviour, and not to marital fertility. Specifically, white-collar men's higher polygyny explains 45 per cent of their fertility advantage, whereas their higher marriage rate and lower wife's age at marriage explains 55 per cent. Therefore, polygyny was an additional factor that led to a steeper income–fertility curve than in Western Europe by enabling the rural middle class to out-breed the poor.
    Keywords: fertility; Malthusian model; marriage; Middle East; polygamy; Wiley deal
    JEL: J13 N35
    Date: 2022
  3. By: Thomas Baudin (I´ESEG School of Management, LEM UMR 9221 and IRES, Université Catholique de Louvain); Keiti Kondi (UNIVERSITE CATHOLIQUE DE LOUVAIN, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES))
    Abstract: We study whether cultural norms in the origin country, measured at different times, affect fertility and labor force participation of second-generation migrant women in France. We investigate empirically and follow an epidemiological approach to test that the culture of origin affects people’s behavior and decisions. We use the dataset TeO (Trajectoires et Origines) on population diversity in France in 2008. We find that: 1) cultural norms affect people’s fertility and labor working time decisions, confirming the results of Fernandez and Fogli (2009) also for the French context; 2) the timing when the norm is measured is crucial. The later the norm is measured in time, the most powerful its effect, suggesting that the effect of the norms transmitted from peers is stronger than that of norms transmitted from parents. The explanatory power of norms holds also when controlling for socio-economic characteristics such as age, siblings, education of the respondent, spouse, and parents; 3) the feeling of being French moderates the persistence of cultural norms differently for fertility and labor force participation, while the perceived feeling of being discriminated does not alter the persistence of the cultural norms.
    Keywords: second generation migrants, culture, fertility, labor force participation, discrimination, integration
    JEL: J1
    Date: 2023–01–13
  4. By: Schippers, M.C.; Ioannidis, J.P.A.; Luijks, M.W.J.
    Abstract: Just like an army of ants caught in an ant mill, individuals, groups and even whole societies are sometimes caught up in a death spiral, a vicious cycle of self-reinforcing dysfunctional behavior characterized by continuous flawed decision making, myopic single-minded focus on one (set of) solution(s), denial, distrust, micromanagement, dogmatic thinking and learned helplessness. We propose the term Death Spiral Effect to describe this difficult to break downward spiral of societal decline. Specifically, in the current theory-building review we aim to: (1) more clearly define and describe the death spiral effect; (2) model the downward spiral of societal decline as well as an upward spiral; (3) describe how and why individuals, groups and even society at large might be caught up in a death spiral; and (4) offer a positive way forward in terms of evidence-based solutions to escape the death spiral effect. Management theory hints on the occurrence of this phenomenon and offers turn-around leadership as solution. On a societal level strengthening of democracy may be important. Prior research indicates that historically, two key factors trigger this type of societal decline: (1) rising inequalities creating an upper layer of elites and a lower layer of masses, and (2) dwindling (access to) resources. Important issues that we aim to shed light on are the behavioral underpinnings of decline, as well as the question if and how societal decline can be reversed. We explore the extension of these theories from the company/organization level to the society level, and make use of insights from both micro-, meso-, and macro-level theories (e.g., collapsology, the study of the risks of collapse of industrial civilization) to explain this process of societal demise. Our review draws on theories such as Social Safety Theory, Conservation of Resources Theory, and management theories that describe the decline and fall of groups, companies and societies, as well as offer ways to reverse this trend.
    Keywords: Death Spiral Effect, Societal Collapse, Income Inequalities, Dysfunctional Behavior, Elite and Masses, Turnaround Leadership, Strengthening of Democracy.
    Date: 2023–02–09
  5. By: Szabolcs Nagy; Csilla Konyha Molnarne
    Abstract: The need for a more sustainable lifestyle is a key focus for several countries. Using a questionnaire survey conducted in Hungary, this paper examines how culture influences environmentally conscious behaviour. Having investigated the direct impact of Hofstedes cultural dimensions on pro-environmental behaviour, we found that the culture of a country hardly affects actual environmentally conscious behaviour. The findings indicate that only individualism and power distance have a significant but weak negative impact on pro-environmental behaviour. Based on the findings, we can state that a positive change in culture is a necessary but not sufficient condition for making a country greener.
    Date: 2022–12
  6. By: Shoshan, Vered; Hazan, Tamir; Plonsky, Ori (Technion - Israel Institute of Technology)
    Abstract: In this paper, we propose a behavioral model called BEAST-Net, which combines the basic logic of BEAST, a psychological theory-based behavioral model, with machine learning (ML) techniques. Our approach is to formalize BEAST mathematically as a differentiable function and parameterize it with a neural network, enabling us to learn the model parameters from data and optimize it using backpropagation. The resulting model, BEAST-Net, is able to scale to larger datasets and adapt to new data with greater ease, while retaining the psychological insights and interpretability of the original model. We evaluate BEAST-Net on the largest public benchmark dataset of human choice tasks and show that it outperforms several baselines, including the original BEAST model. Furthermore, we demonstrate that our model can be used to provide interpretable explanations for choice behavior, allowing us to derive new psychological insights from the data. Our work makes a significant contribution to the field of human decision making by showing that ML techniques can be used to improve the scalability and adaptability of psychological theory based models while preserving their interpretability and ability to provide insights.
    Date: 2023–01–30
  7. By: Philippe Henry (Scènes et savoirs - UP8 - Université Paris 8 Vincennes-Saint-Denis)
    Abstract: The book aims at better understanding how each in their own way cultural organizations fit together the individual and the collective, the singular and the common. It focuses on the structures or devices that play an essential role in supporting or intermediating artistic or cultural projects in France characterized by both a professional aim and a modest size (cooperatives, wastelands, cultural third places, professional networks, cultural projects of territory...). More specifically, it explores the relationship between the support for the specific identity of projects and the coordination of the plurality of actors they involve. Although not exclusive, the reported cases rather refer to the cultural branches of crafts – in particular performing arts and plastic arts. The approach is based on the observation and analysis of a set of concrete situations, backed by contextual and theoretical references which problematize the cases studied. It does not imply prior knowledge of the topics covered, while offering prospects of deepening their knowledge to the readers who are more familiar with them. The cooperative cultural groupings thus appear to be exemplary of a general operating system – the community regime of singularities. This proves to be in tune with current sociological and technological developments, while experimenting with the possibilities and limits of a cultural democracy that feeds as much on pragmatism as on ideality.
    Abstract: L'ouvrage vise à mieux appréhender comment les organisations culturelles articulent, chacune à leur manière, l'individuel et le collectif, le singulier et le commun. Il se focalise sur les structures ou dispositifs qui jouent un rôle essentiel d'accompagnement ou d'intermédiation pour des projets artistiques ou culturels à visée professionnelle et de taille modeste en France (coopératives, friches, tiers-lieux culturels, réseaux professionnels, projets culturels de territoire...). Il explore plus précisément les rapports entre soutien à l'identité propre des projets et coordination de la pluralité des acteurs qu'ils impliquent. Sans que ce soit exclusif, les cas signalés renvoient plutôt aux branches culturelles artisanales – notamment spectacle vivant et arts plastiques. L'approche s'appuie sur l'observation et l'analyse d'un ensemble de situations concrètes, adossées à des références contextuelles et théoriques qui les problématisent. Elle n'implique pas une connaissance préalable des thèmes abordés, tout en proposant des perspectives d'approfondissement aux lecteurs qui en sont plus familiers. Les groupements culturels coopératifs apparaissent alors exemplaires d'un régime général de fonctionnement – le régime communautaire de singularités. Celui-ci s'avère en phase avec les évolutions sociologiques et technologiques actuelles, tout en expérimentant les possibilités et les limites d'une démocratie culturelle qui se nourrit autant de pragmatisme que d'idéalité.
    Keywords: Cooperation, Culture, Socioeconomics, Coopération, Socioéconomie
    Date: 2023–01
  8. By: Thomas Dohmen (University of Bonn, IZA Institute of Labor Economics, Maastricht University); Simone Quercia (University of Verona); Jana Willrodt (Düsseldorf Institute for Competition Economics (DICE))
    Abstract: In this paper, we hypothesize that the strength of the consensus effect, i.e., the tendency for people to overweight the prevalence of their own values and preferences when forming beliefs about others’ values and preferences, depends on the salience of own preferences. We manipulate salience by varying the order of elicitation of preferences and beliefs. Although our results confirmthe existence of the consensus effect, we find no evidence of a difference between the two orders of elicitation. While our results highlight the robustness of the consensus effect, they also indicate that salience does not mediate the strength of this phenomenon.
    Keywords: Consensus effect, social preferences, trust game, beliefs
    JEL: C91 D01 D83 D91
    Date: 2023–02

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