nep-evo New Economics Papers
on Evolutionary Economics
Issue of 2023‒08‒28
seven papers chosen by
Matthew Baker, City University of New York

  1. Directed Reciprocity Subverts Altruism in Highly Adaptive Populations By Herings, Jean-Jacques; Peeters, Ronald; Tenev, Anastas P.
  2. Fast but multi-partisan: Bursts of communication increase opinion diversity in the temporal Deffuant model By Fatemeh Zarei; Yerali Gandica; Luis Enrique Correa Rocha
  3. Behavioural Responses to Unfair Institutions: Experimental Evidence on Rule Compliance, Norm Polarisation, and Trust By Columbus, Simon; Feld, Lars P.; Kasper, Matthias; Rablen, Matthew D.
  4. Analyzing biases in genealogies using demographic microsimulation By Liliana P. Calderón Bernal; Diego Alburez-Gutierrez; Emilio Zagheni
  5. Are Managers More Machiavellian Than Other Employees? By Baktash, Mehrzad B.; Jirjahn, Uwe
  6. Social and individual learning in the Minority Game By Bryce Morsky; Fuwei Zhuang; Zuojun Zhou
  7. Dark versus Light Personality Types and Moral Choice By Dickinson, David L.

  1. By: Herings, Jean-Jacques (Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management); Peeters, Ronald; Tenev, Anastas P.
    Date: 2023
  2. By: Fatemeh Zarei; Yerali Gandica; Luis Enrique Correa Rocha
    Abstract: Human interactions create social networks forming the backbone of societies. Individuals adjust their opinions by exchanging information through social interactions. Two recurrent questions are whether social structures promote opinion polarisation or consensus in societies and whether polarisation can be avoided, particularly on social media. In this paper, we hypothesise that not only network structure but also the timings of social interactions regulate the emergence of opinion clusters. We devise a temporal version of the Deffuant opinion model where pairwise interactions follow temporal patterns and show that burstiness alone is sufficient to refrain from consensus and polarisation by promoting the reinforcement of local opinions. Individuals self-organise into a multi-partisan society due to network clustering, but the diversity of opinion clusters further increases with burstiness, particularly when individuals have low tolerance and prefer to adjust to similar peers. The emergent opinion landscape is well-balanced regarding clusters' size, with a small fraction of individuals converging to extreme opinions. We thus argue that polarisation is more likely to emerge in social media than offline social networks because of the relatively low social clustering observed online. Counter-intuitively, strengthening online social networks by increasing social redundancy may be a venue to reduce polarisation and promote opinion diversity.
    Date: 2023–07
  3. By: Columbus, Simon (University of Copenhagen); Feld, Lars P. (University of Freiburg); Kasper, Matthias (Walter Eucken Institute, Freiburg); Rablen, Matthew D. (University of Sheffield)
    Abstract: This study investigates the effects of unfair enforcement of institutional rules on public good contributions, personal and social norms, and trust. In a preregistered online experiment (n = 1, 038), we find that biased institutions reduce rule compliance compared to fair institutions. However, rule enforcement – fair and unfair – reduces norm polarisation compared to no enforcement. We also find that social heterogeneity lowers average trust and induces ingroup favouritism in trust. Finally, we find consistent evidence of peer effects: higher levels of peer compliance raise future compliance and spillover positively into norms and trust. Our study contributes to the literature on behavioural responses to institutional design and strengthens the case for unbiased rule enforcement.
    Keywords: public goods, compliance, social norms, trust, audits, biased rule enforcement, polarisation
    JEL: H41 C72 C91 C92
    Date: 2023–07
  4. By: Liliana P. Calderón Bernal (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany); Diego Alburez-Gutierrez (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany); Emilio Zagheni (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany)
    Abstract: Genealogies are promising sources for addressing many questions in historical and kinship demography. So far, an incomplete understanding of the biases that affect their representativeness has hindered their full exploitation. Here, we report on a series of experiments on synthetic populations aimed at understanding how different sources of bias in ascendant genealogies can affect the accuracy of demographic estimates. We use the SOCSIM demographic microsimulation program and data for Sweden from the Human Fertility Collection (1751-1890), the Human Fertility Database (1891-2022), and the Human Mortality Database (1751-2022). We analyze three sources of bias: selection in direct lineages, incomplete reconstruction of family trees, and missing information on some subpopulations. We evaluate their effect by comparing common demographic measures estimated from ‘perfectly-recorded’ and ‘bias-infused’ synthetic populations. Our results show that including only direct lineages leads to an underestimation of Total Fertility Rate (TFR) (c.a. −39% or 0.61 times lower) before the onset of fertility decline, and an overestimation of life expectancy at birth (e0) over the first two centuries (c.a. +42.2%). However, after adding selected collateral kin, the accuracy of the estimates improves: TFR is underestimated by only −0.11% during the first century and e0 is overestimated by only +1.5% over the whole period.
    JEL: J1 Z0
    Date: 2023
  5. By: Baktash, Mehrzad B.; Jirjahn, Uwe
    Abstract: Concerns about corporate scandals and abusive leadership suggest that individuals with an opportunistic and manipulative personality take advantage of incomplete incentive and control systems to get their way into managerial positions. Against this background, we examine whether there is an association between Machiavellianism and occupying a managerial position. We suggest how to incorporate the psychological concept of Machiavellianism into agency theory and hypothesize that individuals scoring high on Machiavellianism are more likely to attain and keep a managerial position. Using a large and representative panel dataset from Germany, our empirical analysis confirms a strong and positive relationship between Machiavellianism and occupying a managerial position. This result holds in various robustness checks and in instrumental variable estimations accounting for possible endogeneity. Furthermore, our analysis provides evidence that the relationship is monotone; i.e., those with the highest scores of Machiavellianism are most likely to be managers. It also suggests that the direction of influence runs from Machiavellianism to occupational status and not vice versa.
    Keywords: Machiavellianism, Dark Triad, Managers, Agency Theory, Occupational Sorting
    JEL: D23 D90 J24 M12 M51
    Date: 2023
  6. By: Bryce Morsky; Fuwei Zhuang; Zuojun Zhou
    Abstract: We study the roles of social and individual learning on outcomes of the Minority Game model of a financial market. Social learning occurs via agents adopting the strategies of their neighbours within a social network, while individual learning results in agents changing their strategies without input from other agents. In particular, we show how social learning can undermine efficiency of the market due to negative frequency dependent selection and loss of strategy diversity. The latter of which can lock the population into a maximally inefficient state. We show how individual learning can rescue a population engaged in social learning from such inefficiencies.
    Date: 2023–07
  7. By: Dickinson, David L. (Appalachian State University)
    Abstract: Dark personality traits have been linked to behaviors commonly understood as unethical, such as fraud, bribe-taking, and marital infidelity. Presumably, more "light" personality traits may be associated with lesser tendencies to be unethical, but many individuals also possess both light and dark trait characteristics. This paper reports results from a preregistered study of over 2400 participants who completed validated short-form personality instruments to assess dark and light personality trait measures—the dark tetrad and a light "triad" of 3 personality dimensions were measured. Furthermore, participants completed 3 tasks of interest that contribute to an understanding or one's ethics: a task assessing prosociality, a task that presents a monetary temptation to be dishonest, and a hypothetical moral dilemma task. The results overall support the hypotheses that dark personality traits predict lower levels of prosociality, higher likelihood of dishonesty, and an increased willingness to make immoral choices overall. Potential mechanisms and implications are examined.
    Keywords: ethics, dark personality, moral choice, experiments
    JEL: C91 D91 D63
    Date: 2023–07

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