nep-evo New Economics Papers
on Evolutionary Economics
Issue of 2023‒07‒31
six papers chosen by
Matthew Baker
City University of New York

  1. Coevolution of cognition and cooperation in structured populations under reinforcement learning By Ennio Bilancini; Leonardo Boncinelli; Rossana Mastrandrea
  2. Everyday econometricians: Selection neglect and overoptimism when learning from others By Kai Barron; Steffen Huck; Philippe Jehiel
  3. Human Creativity: Functions, Mechanisms and Social Conditioning By De Dreu, Carsten; Nijstad, Bernard A.; Baas, Matthijs
  4. The illusion of stable fertility preferences. By Müller, Maximilian W; Hamory, Joan; Johnson-Hanks, Jennifer; Miguel, Edward
  5. Praying for Rain By José-Antonio Espín-Sánchez; Salvador Gil-Guirado; Nicholas Ryan
  6. A Theory of Interactively Coherent Entanglement for Intelligence-Like Particles By Leilei Shi; Bing-Hong Wang; Xinshuai Guo; Guocheng Wang

  1. By: Ennio Bilancini; Leonardo Boncinelli; Rossana Mastrandrea
    Abstract: We study the evolution of behavior under reinforcement learning in a Prisoner's Dilemma where agents interact in a regular network and can learn about whether they play one-shot or repeatedly by incurring a cost of deliberation. With respect to other behavioral rules used in the literature, (i) we confirm the existence of a threshold value of the probability of repeated interaction, switching the emergent behavior from intuitive defector to dual-process cooperator; (ii) we find a different role of the node degree, with smaller degrees reducing the evolutionary success of dual-process cooperators; (iii) we observe a higher frequency of deliberation.
    Date: 2023–06
  2. By: Kai Barron (WZB - Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin für Sozialforschung); Steffen Huck (UCL - University College of London [London], WZB - Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin für Sozialforschung); 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])
    Abstract: This study explores selection neglect in an experimental investment game where individuals can learn from others' outcomes. Experiment 1 examines aggregate-level equilibrium behavior. We find strong evidence of selection neglect and corroborate several comparative static predictions of Jehiel's (2018) model, showing that the severity of the bias is aggravated by the sophistication of other individuals and moderated when information is more correlated across individuals. Experiment 2 focuses on individual decision-making, isolating the influence of beliefs from possible confounding factors. This allows us to classify individuals according to their degree of naivety and explore the limits of, and potential remedies for, selection neglect.
    Keywords: Selection neglect, beliefs, overoptimism, survivorship bias, experiment
    Date: 2023–07
  3. By: De Dreu, Carsten; Nijstad, Bernard A. (University of Groningen); Baas, Matthijs
    Abstract: Creativity is part and parcel of human history and enables (groups of) individuals to adapt to and shape their natural and social surroundings. Here we identify (1) core functions of creativity (“what is it for?”) in terms of its ability to solve ill-defined problems of survival and prosperity and, (2) the neurocognitive mechanisms (“how does it work?”) underlying creative production in terms of cognitive persistence and flexibility. We summarize experimental support for this Dual Pathway to Creativity Model (DPCM) from our own laboratory and that of others, and review work implicating the dopamine-innervated fronto-striatal circuitry in achieving a balance between cognitive flexibility on the one hand, and persistence on the other. We use DPCM to analyze how creativity emerges and develops across the lifespan. We show (3) how personalities and psychopathologies marked by approach (avoidance) motivation link to creativity because of enhanced capacity for flexibility (persistence), and (4) how socio-cultural factors, including psychological safety, diversity, and leadership, condition individual and group creativity. We conclude with open questions for future research, including how (5) individuals and groups move from generating to implementing creative ideas, insights, and problem solutions.
    Date: 2023–06–10
  4. By: Müller, Maximilian W; Hamory, Joan; Johnson-Hanks, Jennifer; Miguel, Edward
    Abstract: Fertility preferences have long played a key role in models of fertility differentials and change. We examine the stability of preferences over time using rich panel data on Kenyan women's fertility desires, expectations, actual fertility, and recall of desires in three waves over a nine-year period, when respondents were in their 20s. We find that although desired fertility is quite unstable, most women perceive their desires to be stable. Under hypothetical future scenarios, few expect their desired fertility to increase over time but, in fact, such increases in fertility desires are common. Moreover, when asked to recall past desires, most respondents report previously wanting exactly as many children as they desire today. These patterns of bias are consistent with the emerging view that fertility desires are contextual, emotionally laden, and structured by identity.
    Keywords: Humans, Illusions, Fertility, Child, Kenya, Female, fertility preferences, panel data, recall, stability of preferences, Contraception/Reproduction, Demography
    Date: 2022–07–01
  5. By: José-Antonio Espín-Sánchez; Salvador Gil-Guirado; Nicholas Ryan
    Abstract: We study the climate as a determinant of religious belief. People believe in the divine when religious authorities (the “church”) can credibly intervene in nature on their behalf. We present a model in which nature sets the pattern of rainfall over time and the church chooses when optimally to pray in order to persuade people that it has caused the rain. We present evidence from prayers for rain in Murcia, Spain that the church follows such an optimal policy and that its prayers therefore predict rainfall. In our model, praying for rain can only persuade people to believe if the hazard of rainfall during a dry spell is increasing over time, so that the probability of rainfall is highest when people most want rain. We test this prediction in an original data set of whether ethnic groups around the world traditionally prayed for rain. We find that prayer for rain is more likely among ethnic groups dependent on intensive agriculture for subsistence and that ethnic groups facing an increasing rainfall hazard are 53% more likely to pray for rain, consistent with our model. We interpret these findings as evidence for the instrumentality of religious belief.
    JEL: N3 N5 O13 P48 Z12
    Date: 2023–06
  6. By: Leilei Shi; Bing-Hong Wang; Xinshuai Guo; Guocheng Wang
    Abstract: Complex adaptive learning is intelligent and plays roles in living and non-living complex systems. A complex system comprises many interacting individuals or units, shows hidden patterns as they interact, and widely occurs in almost every discipline, from natural to social sciences. It stimulates scientists to explore the mechanism of complex systems formulation. However, it is very challenging. Here the authors extract a universal rule or a law for interactive coherence in complex systems from a trading volume-price probability wave equation and apply it to complex quantum systems as its application. It assumes that particles can have a complex adaptive learning- or intelligence-like property in a reinforced coordinate and extend complex adaptive learning of traders in the financial markets to that of non-living particles in quantum physics. With these assumptions, the authors propose a theory of interactively coherent entanglement for intelligence-like particles, attempting to explain entanglement in quantum physics. It concludes that quantum entanglement is not a state of the superposition of coherent states as the mainstream Copenhagen school of thought claims. It is a state of interactively coherent entanglement generated by intelligence-like particles in a reinforced coordinate. The authors look forward to the experimental results to examine its validity and further improve the theory until it is perfect, suggesting industrial production of entanglement resources in new technical routes available and its potential application to quantum communications in the future. Keywords: Complex systems; Complex adaptive learning; Intelligence-like particles; Interactive coherent entanglement; Finance complexity; Volume-price wave equation
    Date: 2023–06

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