nep-hpe New Economics Papers
on History and Philosophy of Economics
Issue of 2005‒02‒01
three papers chosen by
Andy Denis
City University

  1. Negative Reciprocity: The Coevolution of Memes and Genes By Daniel Friedman; Nirvikar Singh
  2. The Global History of Corporate Governance: An Introduction By Randall K. Morck; Lloyd Steier
  3. Why are the Critics so Convinced that Globalization is Bad for the Poor? By Emma Aisbett

  1. By: Daniel Friedman (University of California Santa Cruz Dept. of Economics); Nirvikar Singh (University of California, Santa Cruz)
    Abstract: A preference for negative reciprocity is an important part of the human emotional repertoire. We model its role in sustaining cooperative behavior but highlight an intrinsic free-rider problem: the fitness benefits of negative reciprocity are dispersed throughout the entire group, but the fitness costs are borne personally. Evolutionary forces tend to unravel people's willingness to bear the personal cost of punishing culprits. In our model, the countervailing force that sustains negative reciprocity is a meme consisting of a group norm together with low-powered (and low-cost) group enforcement of the norm. The main result is that such memes coevolve with personal tastes and capacities so as to produce the optimal level of negative reciprocity.
    Keywords: Altruism, reciprocity, negative reciprocity, coevolution,
    Date: 2003–12–01
  2. By: Randall K. Morck; Lloyd Steier
    Abstract: This paper presents a synopsis of recent NBER studies of the history of corporate governance in Canada, China, France, Germany, Japan, India, Italy, the Netherlands, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Together, the studies underscore the importance of path dependence, often as far back into preindustrial period; legal system origin, though in a more nuanced form than mere statutory shareholder rights; and wealthy families. They also clarify the roles of ideologies, business groups, trust, institutional transplants, and politics in institutional evolution and financial development. Other themes are the universality of business insiders%u2019 investments in, entrenchment, and a possible behavioral basis for this.
    JEL: G3 N2
    Date: 2005–01
  3. By: Emma Aisbett
    Abstract: Proponents of globalization often conclude that its critics are ignorant or self-motivated. In doing so, they have missed a valuable opportunity to discover both how best to communicate the benefits of globalization, and how to improve on the current model of globalization. This paper examines the values, beliefs and facts that lead critics to the view that globalization is bad for the poor. We find that critics of globalization tend to be concerned about non-monetary as well as monetary dimensions of poverty, and more concerned about the total number of poor than the incidence of poverty. In regard to inequality, critics tend to refer more to changes in absolute inequality, and income polarization, rather than the inequality measures preferred by economists. It is particularly important to them that no group of poor people is made worse off by globalization. Finally, we argue that the perceived concentration of political and economic power that accompanies globalization causes many people to presume that globalization is bad for the poor, and the continued ambiguities in the empirical findings mean that this presumption can be readily supported with evidence.
    JEL: F0
    Date: 2005–01

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