nep-evo New Economics Papers
on Evolutionary Economics
Issue of 2023‒09‒11
five papers chosen by
Matthew Baker, City University of New York

  1. Capabilities, Institutions and Regional Economic Development: A Proposed Synthesis By Koen Frenken; Frank Neffke; Alje van Dam
  2. The Emergence of the Child Quantity-Quality Tradeoff - insights from early modern academics By Thomas Baudin; David de la Croix
  3. Evolution from political fragmentation to a unified empire in a Malthusian economy By Chu, Angus; Peretto, Pietro; Furukawa, Yuichi
  4. Behavioural welfare analysis and revealed preference: Theory and experimental evidence By Caliari, Daniele
  5. THE DARK TRIAD TRAITS AND ECONOMIC BEHAVIOR IN RELATION TO TOLERANCE TO UNCERTAINTY By Kornienko, Dmitriy (Корниенко, Дмитрий); Baleva, Milena (Балева, Милена); Yachmenyova, Nadezhda (Ячменёва, Надежда)

  1. By: Koen Frenken; Frank Neffke; Alje van Dam
    Abstract: The capability framework in evolutionary economic geography views regional economic development as a process of related diversification through the acquisition of capabilities that render a regional economy more complex. Using this framework, we synthesize seven theoretical notions that hitherto remained rather disconnected: relatedness, complementarity, variety, complexity, diversification, agents of structural change, and related variety. We formulate a constructive critique of the capability framework, relaxing the overly restrictive assumption that the presence of capabilities in a region is both necessary and sufficient for complex products to be produced in a region. Instead, we argue that the complexity of a regional economy depends primarily on the institutions that support firms to coordinate production in complex value chains within and across regions. The augmented framework allows for closer integration of evolutionary and relational approaches in economic geography, providing new links between the literatures on clusters, innovation systems and global production networks.
    Keywords: diversification, relatedness, complexity, institution, value chain
    JEL: B52 O1 O43 R1
    Date: 2023–08
  2. By: Thomas Baudin (IESEG School of Management, Univ. Lille); David de la Croix (UNIVERSITE CATHOLIQUE DE LOUVAIN, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES))
    Abstract: We examine the relationship between family size and human capital among academics in Northern Europe over the two centuries prior to the Industrial Revolution. To measure scholars' human capital, we develop a novel and consistent approach based on their publications. We find that scholars with a high number of publications shifted from having more siblings to having fewer than others during the first half of the 18th century. This shift is consistent with an evolutionary growth model in which the initial Malthusian constraint leads the high human capital families to reproduce more, before being endogenously substituted by a Beckerian constraint with a child quality-quantity tradeoff. Our results support a reinterpretation of the Galor and Moav (2002)'s approach, in which the decline of Malthusian constraints is linked to human capital accumulation during the 18th century.
    Keywords: Fertility, Human Capital, Premodern Europe, Universities, Academies, Evolution, Natural Selection, Malthusian Stagnation
    JEL: O11 O40 J11 J13 N13 N33
    Date: 2023–08–14
  3. By: Chu, Angus; Peretto, Pietro; Furukawa, Yuichi
    Abstract: What are the origins of political fragmentation in Europe and political unification in China? This study develops a Malthusian growth model with multiple states to explore interstate competition and the endogenous evolution of human society from political fragmentation to a unified empire. Our model features an agricultural society with citizens and rulers in a Malthusian environment in which the expansion of one state may come at the expense of another state, depending on the elasticity of the land ratio with respect to the ratio of population between states. If this elasticity is less than unity, then multiple states coexist (i.e., political fragmentation) in the long run. However, if this elasticity is equal to unity, then only one state (i.e., political unification) will survive in the long run. Which state becomes the unified empire depends on the state's military power, agricultural productivity, and its rulers' preference for rent-seeking Leviathan taxation. We also discuss the historical relevance of these theoretical predictions.
    Keywords: Interstate competition; unified empire; Malthusian growth theory
    JEL: H2 H56 O4
    Date: 2023–08
  4. By: Caliari, Daniele
    Abstract: Behavioural welfare economics provides tools to elicit welfare preferences when individuals use nonstandard behavioural models. Current proposals either require assumptions on the models or elicit preferences that become coarser and coarser as the dataset grows. We propose an informational property [Informational Responsiveness] that solves the coarseness problem and, as the dataset grows, characterizes the family of welfare preference elicitation tools that elicit the underlying utility function of a broad family of stochastic models, denoted as preference monotonic models. As such, we argue that Informational Responsiveness is an important property of preference elicitation tools. We then test our property in an experiment in which participants first face a sequence of questions regarding time and risk outcomes and second report their preferences over a subset of the alternatives. We find that preference elicitation tools that satisfy our requirement provide a significantly better match between the elicited and the reported welfare relation.
    Keywords: Behavioural Welfare economics, Bounded rationality, Stochastic choice, Revealed preference
    JEL: D0 D6
    Date: 2023
  5. By: Kornienko, Dmitriy (Корниенко, Дмитрий) (The Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration); Baleva, Milena (Балева, Милена) (Perm State University); Yachmenyova, Nadezhda (Ячменёва, Надежда) (The Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration)
    Abstract: The relevance of this research lies in the fact that it investigates psychological characteristics as predictors of economic behavior, specifically personal financial management and risky economic decisions. The purpose of this study is to examine 1) the characteristics of economic behavior concerning tolerance to uncertainty, 2) the impact of dispositional variables in economic behavior decisions made by individuals with various levels of the Dark Triad traits (Machiavellianism, narcissism, and psychopathy), and different levels of materialism. The methodological basis of the research is the theory of psychological traits. Economic behavior and decision-making were analyzed using the perspective theory and an economic-psychological approach. Two studies are presented, one using correlational method and the other using quasi-experimental design. The research was conducted online, with diagnostic methods including a survey and resolution of situational tasks. The research sampling consists of undergraduate students. Principal findings. Tolerance to ambiguity and the level of Dark Triad traits raise the chance of making risky economic decisions in actual behavior. With varying degrees of tolerance to uncertainty and the Dark Triad traits, framing has the same influence on economic decision-making. While the combination of the Dark Triad traits and materialism contributes to disparities in personal financial management, an inclination toward materialism is more predictive of economic behavior. Economic behavior varies according to the mix of materialistic orientation and the Dark Triad. The findings of the study can serve as the basis for additional research into economic behavior and the creation of practical programs to develop and prevent dangerous economic behavior.
    Keywords: personality, Machiavellianism, narcissism, psychopathy, uncertainty tolerance, economic behavior, risk, risk appetite, materialism, values
    Date: 2021–11

This nep-evo issue is ©2023 by Matthew Baker. It is provided as is without any express or implied warranty. It may be freely redistributed in whole or in part for any purpose. If distributed in part, please include this notice.
General information on the NEP project can be found at For comments please write to the director of NEP, Marco Novarese at <>. Put “NEP” in the subject, otherwise your mail may be rejected.
NEP’s infrastructure is sponsored by the School of Economics and Finance of Massey University in New Zealand.