nep-hpe New Economics Papers
on History and Philosophy of Economics
Issue of 2018‒05‒21
29 papers chosen by
Erik Thomson
University of Manitoba

  1. Inequality: A Piketty et al. Moment in the Social Sciences By Olivier Godechot
  2. Unhappiness and Pain in Modern America: A Review Essay, and Further Evidence, on Carol Graham’s Happiness for All? By Blanchflower, David G.; Oswald, Andrew J.
  3. God Does Not Play Dice, but Do We? By Backhaus, Teresa; Breitmoser, Yves
  4. Experimental investigations of coordination games: high success rates, invariant behavior, and surprising dynamics By Jörg Spiller; Friedel Bolle
  5. Evolutions and contradictions in mainstream macroeconomics : the case of Olivier Blanchard By Francesco Saraceno; E Brancaccio
  6. Ingemar Ståhl. Bibliografi 1967-2011 By Jonung, Christina; Jonung, Lars
  7. The flip side of power By Friedel Bolle; Philipp E. Otto
  8. Measuring Trust in Institutions By Carlsson, Fredrik; Demeke, Eyoual; Martinsson, Peter; Tesemma, Tewodros
  9. The laws of the evolution of research fields By Coccia Mario
  10. Créer des emplois en baissant les salaires ? une histoire de chiffres By Eric Heyer
  11. “L'État c'est moi”....ou quoi? On the interrelations of accounting, managing and governing in the French ‘administrative monarchy’: revisiting the Colbert (1661-1683) and Paris brothers (1712-1726) episodes By Hoskin, Keith; Macve, Richard
  12. Matematikk og statistikk som metodefag ved NHH: De første femti år By Lillestøl, Jostein
  13. "Some Comments on the Sraffian Supermultiplier Approach to Growth and Distribution" By Michalis Nikiforos
  14. I might be a liar, but not a thief: An experimental distinction between the moral costs of lying and stealing By Hermann, Daniel; Mußhoff, Oliver
  15. Norms and Guilt By Anastasia Danilov; Kiryl Khalmetski; Dirk Sliwka
  16. Cognitive performance in competitive environments: evidence from a natural experiment By González-Díaz, Julio; Palacios-Huerta, Ignacio
  17. Models of Financial Stability and their Application in Stress Tests By Christoph Aymanns; J. Doyne Farmer; Alissa M. Keinniejenhuis; Thom Wetzer
  18. Social Norms, Endogenous Sorting and the Culture of Cooperation By Ernst Fehr; Tony Williams
  19. Inequality, Inc. By Veldman, Jeroen
  20. Lorenzo Tonti, inventeur de la tontine By Georges GALLAIS-HAMONNO; Christian RIETSCH
  21. L’effet des politiques économiques dépend-il de ce dont nous en savons ? By Paul Hubert; Giovanni Ricco
  22. A Game of the Throne of Saint Peter By Mackenzie, Andrew
  23. Honesty in the Digital Age By Alain Cohn; Tobias Gesche; Michel André Maréchal
  24. How does Altruism Enlarge a Climate Coalition? By Lin, Yu-Hsuan
  25. Sorting and agglomeration economies in French economics departments By Clément Bosquet; Pierre-Philippe Combes
  26. Longer, More Optimistic, Lives: Historic Optimism and Life Expectancy in the United States By Kelsey J. O'Connor; Carol Graham
  27. Environmental Kuznets Curve for CO2 Emission: A Literature Survey By Shahbaz, Muhammad; Sinha, Avik
  28. Fairness, social norms and the cultural demand for redistribution By Gilles Le Garrec
  29. The Formation of Prosociality: Causal Evidence on the Role of Social Environment By Fabian Kosse; Thomas Deckers; Pia Pinger; Hannah Schildberg-Horisch; Armin Falk

  1. By: Olivier Godechot (Observatoire sociologique du changement)
    Abstract: What does the world success of Piketty’s Capital in the 21st Century (2014) reveal? This book is not just one of the most astonishing bestsellers in the social sciences in recent years, but it may also signal an important shift in the way we consider inequality in economics and sociology, in the social sciences and the public arena, in political debate and day-to-day conversations. [First paragraph]
    Keywords: Inequality; Capitalism; Upper classes; Measurement of inequality
    Date: 2017–11
  2. By: Blanchflower, David G. (Dartmouth College, Stirling, NBER, Bloomberg and IZA); Oswald, Andrew J. (University of Warwick, CAGE, and IZA)
    Abstract: In Happiness for All?, Carol Graham raises disquieting ideas about today’s United States.The challenge she puts forward is an important one. Here we review the intellectual case and offer additional evidence. We conclude broadly on the author’s side. Strikingly, Americans appear to be in greater pain than citizens of other countries, and most subgroups of citizens have downwardly trended happiness levels. There is, however, one bright side to an otherwise dark story. The happiness of black Americans has risen strongly since the 1970s. It is now almost equal to that of white Americans.
    Keywords: Happiness; well-being; GHQ; mental-health; depression; life-course JEL Classification: I3, I31
    Date: 2018
  3. By: Backhaus, Teresa (WZB); Breitmoser, Yves (HU Berlin)
    Abstract: When do we cooperate and why? This question concerns one of the most persistent divides between \"theory and practice\", between predictions from game theory and results from experimental studies. For about 15 years, theoretical analyses predict completely-mixed \"behavior\" strategies, i.e. strategic randomization rendering \"when\" and \"why\" questions largely moot, while experimental analyses seem to consistently identify pure strategies, suggesting long-run interactions are deterministic. Reanalyzing 145,000 decisions from infinitely repeated prisoner\'s dilemma experiments, and using data-mining techniques giving pure strategies the best possible chance, we conclude that subjects play semi-grim behavior strategies similar to those predicted by theory.
    Keywords: repeated game; behavior; tit-for-tat mixed strategy; memory; belief-free equilibrium; laboratory experiment;
    JEL: C72 C73 C92 D12
    Date: 2018–05–11
  4. By: Jörg Spiller (Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, European University Viadrina, Frankfurt (Oder)); Friedel Bolle (Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, European University Viadrina, Frankfurt (Oder))
    Abstract: Binary Threshold Public Good (BTPG) games are central for understanding cooperation and coordination. In the face of their tremendous number of completely different equilibria theoretical predictions about behavior in these games are extremely difficult. In our experiments, four players contribute or not to the production of a public good which is produced if at least k players contribute. The game with k=4 is the Stag Hunt game, k=1 is the Volunteer’s Dilemma. We investigate 16 different games with k=1,2,3,4. The regularities derived from these extensive variations (e.g. invariance concerning positive vs. negative frames and scaling of players; monotonicity concerning k and costs of contribution) can serve as the basis of a behavioral theory for BTPG games and beyond.
    Keywords: Binary Threshold Public Goods, framing, equilibrium selection, payoff dominance, risk dominance, efficiency, experiment
    JEL: C72 D72 H41
    Date: 2017–11
  5. By: Francesco Saraceno (Observatoire français des conjonctures économiques); E Brancaccio
    Abstract: This article traces the complex intellectual path of Olivier Blanchard, a personification of the controversial evolution of macroeconomic research over the last three decades. After contributing to consolidation of the core of mainstream macroeconomics, Blanchard recently suggested ‘rethinking’ some of its key aspects to take stock of the lessons of the 2008 Great Recession, which he witnessed as the International Monetary Fund’s Chief Economist. This welcome discussion, which according to Blanchard should open mainstream macroeconomics to heterodox thinking, has so far produced a certainly interesting albeit theoretically contradictory synthesis and limited policy consequences. The most paradigmatic aspect of this rethinking of macroeconomics is represented by the abandonment in teaching of aggregate supply and demand in favor of a revival of the IS–LM model complemented by the Phillips curve. While this change of perspective does allow for the instability of ‘natural’ equilibrium to be emphasized, a deeper reading may prove incompatible with the neoclassical foundations of the mainstream approach.
    Keywords: Alternative economic paradigms; Great recession; Mainstream macroeconomics; Neoclassical theory; Olivier Blanchard
    JEL: B31 B41 B50 E10
    Date: 2017–06
  6. By: Jonung, Christina; Jonung, Lars
    Abstract: Ingemar Ståhl was a productive and imaginative economist who was professor of economics at Lund University 1971–2005. His intellectual curiosity gave him a wealth of ideas that he applied to a wide range of issues, for example defense, social insurance, education, housing, labor markets, health, taxation, environment, finance, industrial policies and the political economy of the Swedish model. He became an academic pioneer who imported new theoretical developments, such as public choice and property rights, from abroad and applied them to Sweden. In addition to being a researcher he was also a keen participant in public debate and, at various times, a member of governmental and private policy commissions and a reformer of undergraduate teaching in economics in Lund. He exerted a profound influence on Swedish economic debate, arguing for market-oriented reforms and for more competition and freedom of choice in the public sector. His many contributions – published as well as unpublished – are listed in this bibliography.
    Keywords: Ingemar Ståhl, Sweden, political economy, the Swedish model, deregulation, public choice.
    JEL: B3 B31
    Date: 2018–04
  7. By: Friedel Bolle (Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, European University Viadrina, Frankfurt (Oder)); Philipp E. Otto (European University Viadrina, Frankfurt (Oder))
    Abstract: Based on power indices as well as intuition, the chairman of a committee whose vote decides in the case of a draw has more power than ordinary voters. Even more powerful are members with veto right, who can block a majority vote. We pose the question whether giving one of the players in a majority voting game more power is beneficial for the powerful individual and/or the community. We find that, in our environment, the introduction of a powerful player is efficiency-improving, but that powerful players earn less than their ordinary co-players. Our environment is a Binary Threshold Public Good game which can also be interpreted as a general non- cooperative voting game. We supplement our investigation by successfully explaining behavior as a finite mixture of mostly equilibrium strategies.
    Keywords: veto power; tie-breaking power; binary threshold public goods; experiment
    JEL: D71 D72 H41
    Date: 2017–03
  8. By: Carlsson, Fredrik (Department of Economics, School of Business, Economics and Law, Göteborg University); Demeke, Eyoual (Department of Economics, School of Business, Economics and Law, Göteborg University); Martinsson, Peter (Department of Economics, School of Business, Economics and Law, Göteborg University); Tesemma, Tewodros (Department of Economics, School of Business, Economics and Law, Göteborg University)
    Abstract: In empirical studies, survey questions are typically used to measure trust; trust games are also used to measure interpersonal trust. In this paper, we measure trust in different institutions by using both trust games and survey questions. We find that generalized trust is only weakly correlated with trust in specific institutions, when elicited both by using a trust game and by using survey questions. However, the correlation between trust in a specific institution elicited through a trust game and stated trust for the same institution is stronger and statistically significant. Thus, our findings suggest that generalized trust is not an appropriate measure of institutional trust and that more specific institutional trust measures should be used.
    Keywords: experiment; institutional trust; generalized trust
    JEL: C90 D01 D02 O43
    Date: 2018–05
  9. By: Coccia Mario
    Abstract: A fundamental question in the field of social studies of science is how research fields emerge, grow and decline over time and space. This study confronts this question here by developing an inductive analysis of emerging research fields represented by human microbiome, evolutionary robotics and astrobiology. In particular, number of papers from starting years to 2017 of each emerging research field is analyzed considering the subject areas (i.e., disciplines) of authors. Findings suggest some empirical laws of the evolution of research fields: the first law states that the evolution of a specific research field is driven by few scientific disciplines (3- 5) that generate more than 80% of documents (concentration of the scientific production); the second law states that the evolution of research fields is path-dependent of a critical discipline (it can be a native discipline that has originated the research field or a new discipline emerged during the social dynamics of science); the third law states that a research field can be driven during its evolution by a new discipline originated by a process of specialization within science. The findings here can explain and generalize, whenever possible some properties of the evolution of scientific fields that are due to interaction between disciplines, convergence between basic and applied research fields and interdisciplinary in scientific research. Overall, then, this study begins the process of clarifying and generalizing, as far as possible, the properties of the social construction and evolution of science to lay a foundation for the development of sophisticated theories.
    Date: 2018–05
  10. By: Eric Heyer (Observatoire français des conjonctures économiques)
    Abstract: « La théorie, c’est quand on sait tout et que rien ne fonctionne. La pratique, c’est quand tout fonctionne et que personne ne sait pourquoi. Ici, nous avons réuni théorie et pratique : rien ne fonctionne… et personne ne sait pourquoi ! » Cette phrase attribuée à Albert Einstein aurait pu être choisie comme épigraphe du dernier livre de Michel Husson, Créer des emplois en baissant les salaires ?, qui s’intéresse au lien entre le coût du travail et l’emploi, et revient notamment sur les différentes évaluations des politiques d’allégement de cotisations sociales ou de réduction du salaire minimum à l’aune des créations d’emplois.
    Keywords: Salaires; Emploi
    Date: 2017–06
  11. By: Hoskin, Keith; Macve, Richard
    Abstract: We explore the genesis of the modern power of management and accounting, reviewing two historical episodes that have been claimed to embody aspects of this modernity. For our analysis we distinguish two aspects of double-entry bookkeeping (DEB): first, the basic bookkeeping technique of cross-referencing and analysing doubled entries (Sangster, 2016), and second ‘the full logic’ of a closed system tracking an entity’s income and expense, assets and liabilities and ‘capital’ (Mattessich, 2000). Our first episode is Colbert’s ‘governing by inquiry’ (1661-1683), understood as a ‘managing’ of the French ‘administrative state’ under Louis XIV, where we see DEB’s use as limited to the first technique, undertaken for a forensic auditing of tax revenues to control and amend bad conduct. Second is the episode (1712-1726) of a banking family, the Paris brothers, where DEB is again first deployed similarly, for auditing and control of tax farmer practice, but then proposed as more general means of managing/governing the state. We review the interpretations of the first of these episodes made by Miller (1990) and Soll (2009; 2014), and that of Lemarchand (1999) concerning the second. We draw on Foucault’s analysis of today’s forms of governing as a ‘governmental management’ (2007: 107-8), which was blocked in the era of the administrative state, and explain this blockage as a result of principal-agent structures being used to govern the state. In this light, we see Miller as overinterpreting the closeness of Colbert’s ‘governing by inquiry’ to modern ‘governmentality’, and Soll as overinterpreting modern forms of management and accounting as operative in the governing approach of Colbert as ‘Information Master’. We also re-analyze the effective reach of the ambitions of the Paris brothers, as set out by Lemarchand, for the deployment of DEB. We then draw on Foucault’s (2001) and Panofsky ‘s (1957) analyses of ‘inquiry’ as a ‘form of truth’ which began as a new twelfth-century way of thinking, and trace this to Abelard’s development of ‘inquisitio’ as a new ‘critical reading’ (cf. Hoskin & Macve, 1986). We characterise its modus operandi as a ‘graphocentric synopticism’, graphocentric since all ‘data’ are translated into a gridded, cross-referenced über-text, which is then readable synoptically, all-in-one, from an immobile synthesising position. Foucault (2001) suggests that ‘inquiry’ gives way as mode of truth to ‘examination’ around 1800, and we link the genesis of governmental management to this shift and to the consequent articulation of a ‘panopticism’ which is multiply semiotic and so ‘grammatocentric’.
    Keywords: Colbert; Paris brothers; double-entry bookkeeping; administrative monarchy; graphocentric panopticism; modern management; governmentality
    JEL: N0 M40
    Date: 2016–10–31
  12. By: Lillestøl, Jostein (Dept. of Business and Management Science, Norwegian School of Economics)
    Abstract: Denne rapporten gir en oversikt over utviklingen av matematikk og statistikk som metodefag i studiene ved Norges Handelshøyskole, fra starten i 1936 og 50 år framover til omlag 1986. Spesiell vekt er lagt på perioder da viktige beslutninger ble fattet, og til de ulike synspunkter hos de interesserte parter om veien videre. English This report (in Norwegian) gives a survey of the development of mathematics and statistics as methodology topics in the study programs at the Norwegian School of Economics (NHH), from the beginning in 1936 and 50 years forward to about 1986. Emphasis is given to times when important decisions were taken, and to the different viewpoints among the interested parties about the path to follow.
    Keywords: Matematikk; statistikk; metodefagets historie
    JEL: A00 A20 B00
    Date: 2018–05–15
  13. By: Michalis Nikiforos
    Abstract: The paper discusses the Sraffian supermultiplier (SSM) approach to growth and distribution. It makes five points. First, in the short run the role of autonomous expenditure can be appreciated within a standard post-Keynesian framework (Kaleckian, Kaldorian, Robinsonian, etc.). Second, and related to the first, the SSM model is a model of the long run and has to be evaluated as such. Third, in the long run, one way that capacity adjusts to demand is through an endogenous adjustment of the rate of utilization. Fourth, the SSM model is a peculiar way to reach what Garegnani called the "Second Keynesian Position." Although it respects the letter of the "Keynesian hypothesis," it makes investment quasi-endogenous and subjects it to the growth of autonomous expenditure. Fifth, in the long run it is unlikely that "autonomous expenditure" is really autonomous. From a stock-flow consistent point of view, this implies unrealistic adjustments after periods of changes in stock-flow ratios. Moreover, if we were to take this kind of adjustment at face value, there would be no space for Minskyan financial cycles. This also creates serious problems for the empirical validation of the model.
    Keywords: Sraffian Supermultiplier; Long Run; Utilization; Autonomous Demand
    JEL: B22 B5 E12 E32 O4
    Date: 2018–05
  14. By: Hermann, Daniel; Mußhoff, Oliver
    Abstract: In this paper, we shed light on the different moral costs of dishonesty and stealing. To accomplish this, we set up a die-rolling task which allowed participants to increase their own payout through dishonesty or theft. The results show that participants have fewer reservations about dishonesty compared to stealing, which implies higher intrinsic costs for stealing. We found that gender contributes to this effect, as women distinguish significantly between lying and stealing, while men do not.
    Keywords: Lying,Deception,Stealing,Laboratory Experiment,Behavioral Economics
    JEL: C91 D63 D82
    Date: 2018
  15. By: Anastasia Danilov; Kiryl Khalmetski; Dirk Sliwka
    Abstract: It has been argued that guilt aversion (the aversion to violate others’ expectations) and the compliance to descriptive social norms (the aversion to act differently than others in the same situation) are important drivers of human behavior. We show in a formal model that both motives are empirically indistinguishable when only one benchmark (another person’s expectation or a norm) is revealed as each of these benchmarks signals information on the other one. To address this problem, we experimentally study how individuals react when both benchmarks are revealed simultaneously. We find that both types of information affect transfers in the dictator game. At the same time, the effect of the recipient’s expectation is non-monotonic as dictators use the disclosed expectation in a self-serving way to decrease transfers.
    Keywords: guilt aversion, social norms, conformity, dictator game
    JEL: C91 D83 D84
    Date: 2018
  16. By: González-Díaz, Julio; Palacios-Huerta, Ignacio
    Abstract: Competitive situations that involve cognitive performance are widespread in labor markets, schools, and organizations, including test taking, competition for promotion in firms, and others. This paper studies cognitive performance in a high-stakes competitive environment. The analysis takes advantage of a natural experiment that randomly allocates different emotional states across professional subjects competing in a cognitive task. The setting is a chess match where two players play an even number of chess games against each other alternating the color of the pieces. White pieces confer an advantage for winning a chess game and who starts the match with these pieces is randomly decided. The theoretical analysis shows that in this setting there is no rational reason why winning frequencies should be better than 50-50 in favor of the player drawing the white pieces in the first game. Yet, we find that observed frequencies are about 60-40. Differences in performance are also stronger when the competing subjects are more similar in cognitive skills. We conclude that the evidence is consistent with the hypothesis that psychological elements affect cognitive performance in the face of experience, competition, and high stakes.
    Keywords: cognitive performance; competition; natural experiments
    JEL: J1
    Date: 2016–07–01
  17. By: Christoph Aymanns; J. Doyne Farmer; Alissa M. Keinniejenhuis; Thom Wetzer
    Abstract: This paper reviews the literature on heterogeneous agent models of financial stability and their application in stress tests. We open with the observation that the financial system is a complex system, which heterogeneous agent models are well-suited to analyze. The paper then proceeds in two parts. In the first part, we discuss the fundamental drivers of systemic risk in financial systems, and set out how our understanding of them can be informed by heterogeneous agent models. We focus on models of systemic risk resulting from leverage constraints and models of financial contagion due to interconnectedness. In the second part of this review, we discuss how the conceptual insights from leverage and contagion models can be combined to model and understand systemic risk more broadly and to build robust and data-driven stress tests.
    Keywords: social learning, networks, multi-agent deep reinforcement learning
    Date: 2017–08
  18. By: Ernst Fehr; Tony Williams
    Abstract: Throughout human history, informal sanctions by peers were ubiquitous and played a key role in the enforcement of social norms and the provision of public goods. However, a considerable body of experimental evidence suggests that informal peer sanctions cause large collateral damage and efficiency costs. This raises the question whether peer sanctioning systems exist that avoid these costs and whether other, more centralized, punishment systems are superior and will be preferred by the people. Here, we show that welfare-enhancing peer sanctioning without much need for costly punishment emerges quickly if we introduce two relevant features of social life into the experiment: (i) subjects can migrate across groups with different sanctioning institutions and (ii) they have the chance to achieve consensus about normatively appropriate behavior. The exogenous removal of the norm consensus opportunity reduces the efficiency of peer punishment and renders centralized sanctioning by an elected judge the dominant institution. However, if given the choice, subjects universally reject peer sanctioning without a norm consensus opportunity – an institution that has hitherto dominated research in this field – in favor of peer sanctioning with a norm consensus opportunity or an equally efficient institution with centralized punishment by an elected judge. Migration opportunities and normative consensus building are key to the quick emergence of an efficient culture of universal cooperation because the more prosocial subjects populate the two efficient institutions first, elect prosocial judges (if institutionally possible), and immediately establish a social norm of high cooperation. This norm appears to guide subjects’ cooperation and punishment choices, including the virtually complete removal of antisocial punishment when judges make the sanctioning decision.
    Keywords: cooperation, punishment ,endogenous institutions, public goods
    JEL: D02 D03 D72 H41
    Date: 2018
  19. By: Veldman, Jeroen
    Abstract: To engage with inequality, I explore how corporate governance theory is based on inherently contingent ideas of the legal and organizational structuring of the modern public corporation in a corporate ‘architecture’, and how these contingent ideas affect the distribution of privileges, protections and proceeds to different types of actors. I argue that the currently dominant corporate governance theory ignores a specific corporate architecture that provided internal and external legitimacy to the modern public corporation by embedding a set of trade-offs between constituent groups and cementing those trade- offs into a broader institutional setting. Ignoring this architecture leads to the redirection of the privileges and protections embodied in the modern corporation to the exclusive benefit of an implicit coalition of market value-oriented shareholders and managers, while the risks to all other actors, interests and timeframes are relegated to the status of ‘externalities’. I explore how a focus on contingent conceptions of the modern corporation and of corporate governance provides an organizational-level explanation for growing inequality with which existing sectoral and state-centric approaches and means for engagement can be complemented.
    Keywords: Inequality, Corporation, Corporate governance, Corporate architecture, Oligopoly, Political economy
    JEL: B0 K0 L13 L22 L40 M10
    Date: 2018–04–17
  20. By: Georges GALLAIS-HAMONNO; Christian RIETSCH
    Date: 2018
  21. By: Paul Hubert (Observatoire français des conjonctures économiques); Giovanni Ricco (Observatoire français des conjonctures économiques)
    Abstract: Les effets de la politique monétaire dépendent-ils de l’information dont disposent les ménages et les entreprises ? Dans ce billet, nous analysons dans quelle mesure la façon dont la banque centrale surprend les acteurs économiques affecte les effets de sa politique, et dans quelle mesure la publication par la banque centrale de son information privée modifie les effets de sa politique. Dans une économie où l’information serait parfaite et où les anticipations des agents privés sont rationnelles, les annonces de politique monétaire n’ont pas d’effet réel (sur l’activité) sauf s’il s’agit de « surprises », c’est-à-dire de décisions non anticipées. Dans la mesure où les agents privés connaissent les raisons économiques justifiant les décisions de politique monétaire, une surprise de politique monétaire correspond donc à un changement temporaire de préférence des banquiers centraux. [Premiers paragraphes]
    Keywords: Anticipation d'inflation; Anticipations macroéconomiques; Banques Centrales; Politique monétaire; Puzzle
    Date: 2017–09
  22. By: Mackenzie, Andrew (General Economics 1 (Micro))
    Abstract: In the Roman Catholic Church, the pope is elected by the (cardinal) electors through “scrutiny,” where each elector casts an anonymous nomination. Using historical documents, we argue that a guiding principle for the church has been the protection of electors from the temptation to defy God through dishonest nomination. Based on axiomatic analysis involving this principle, we recommend that the church overturn the changes of Pope Pius XII (1945) to reinstate the scrutiny of Pope Gregory XV (1621), and argue that randomization in the case of deadlock merits consideration.
    Keywords: economics, mathematical economics, Microeconomics
    JEL: D82 D71 D72 Z12
    Date: 2018–05–08
  23. By: Alain Cohn; Tobias Gesche; Michel André Maréchal
    Abstract: Modern communication technologies enable efficient exchange of information, but often sacrifice direct human interaction inherent in more traditional forms of communication. This raises the question of whether the lack of personal interaction induces individuals to exploit informational asymmetries. We conducted two experiments with 866 subjects to examine how human versus machine interaction influences cheating for financial gain. We find that individuals cheat significantly more when they interact with a machine rather than a person, regardless of whether the machine is equipped with human features. When interacting with a human, individuals are particularly reluctant to report unlikely favorable outcomes, which is consistent with social image concerns. The second experiment shows that dishonest individuals prefer to interact with a machine when facing an opportunity to cheat. Our results suggest that human interaction is key to mitigating dishonest behavior and that self-selection into communication channels can be used to screen for dishonest people.
    Keywords: cheating, honesty, private information, communication, digitization, lying costs
    JEL: C99 D82 D83
    Date: 2018
  24. By: Lin, Yu-Hsuan
    Abstract: This study examines the relationship between individual altruistic attitudes and the incentives of participating in a climate coalition by using a laboratory experiment. A dominant strategy solution design assigns players into two roles in the game: critical and non-critical players. The critical players have a weakly dominant strategy of joining and are essential to an effective coalition. On the other hand, the non-critical players have a dominant strategy of not-joining. The theory suggests that strong altruism would lead non-critical players to join a coalition. The experimental evidence supports that coalitions are therefore enlarged from the self-interest prediction. However, the result indicates that the individual incentives for participation seem to be negatively correlated with altruistic attitudes. It implies the stronger the altruistic tendencies the less likely individuals are to join a coalition. In other words, coalition formation may be expanded by egoistic players.
    Keywords: International environmental agreement, social preference, altruism, experimental design
    JEL: C91 D64 H41 Q54
    Date: 2018–05
  25. By: Clément Bosquet (Spatial Economic Research Center); Pierre-Philippe Combes (Département d'économie)
    Abstract: Are agglomeration and peer effects at stake in academic research? To tackle this question, we study how departments’ characteristics affect the quantity and quality of academics’ publications in economics in France, controlling for individual time-varying characteristics and individual fixed effects. Department characteristics have an explanatory power at least equal to a quarter of that of individual characteristics and possibly as high as theirs. The quantity and quality of an academic’s publications in a field increase with the presence of other academics specialised in that field and with the share of the department’s publications output in that field. In contrast, department size, proximity to other large departments, homogeneity in terms of publication performance, presence of colleagues with connections abroad, and composition in terms of positions and age matter for some publication measures but only if not controlling for individual fixed effects.
    Keywords: Research productivity; Local externalities; Skill sorting; Peer effects; Knowledge spillovers; Co-author networks; Economics of science
    JEL: R23 J24 I23
    Date: 2017–09
  26. By: Kelsey J. O'Connor (National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies); Carol Graham (The Brookings Institution)
    Abstract: How was optimism related to mortality before the rise in “deaths of despair” that began in the late 1990s? We show that as early as 1968 more optimistic people lived longer (using the Panel Study of Income Dynamics). The relationship depends on many factors including gender, race, health, and education. We then evaluate these and other variables as determinants of individual optimism over the period 1968-1975. We find women and African Americans were less optimistic at the time than men and whites (although this has changed in recent years). Greater education is associated with greater optimism and so is having wealthy parents. We then predict optimism for the same individuals in subsequent years, thus generating our best guess as to how optimism changed for various demographic groups from 1976-1995. We find people with less than a high school degree show the greatest declines in optimism, which along with their long-run links to premature mortality and deaths of despair, highlights the importance of better understanding optimism’s causes and consequences.
    Keywords: PSID, Panel Study of Income Dynamics, optimism, despair, premature mortality
    JEL: I14 I00 J15 J24
    Date: 2018–05
  27. By: Shahbaz, Muhammad; Sinha, Avik
    Abstract: This paper provides a survey of the empirical literature on Environmental Kuznets Curve (EKC) estimation of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions over the period of 1991-2017. This survey categorizes the studies on the basis of single country and cross-country contexts. It has been hypothesized that the EKC is an inverted U-shaped association between economic growth and CO2 emissions. For both single country and cross-country contexts, the results of EKC estimation for CO2 emissions are inconclusive in nature. The reasons behind this discrepancy can be attributed to the choice of contexts, time period, explanatory variables, and methodological adaptation. The future studies in this context should not only consider new set of variables (e.g., corruption index, social indicators, political scenario, energy research and development expenditures, foreign capital inflows, happiness, population education structure, public investment towards alternate energy exploration, etc.), but also the dataset should be refined, so that the EKC estimation issues raised by Stern (2004) can be addressed.
    Keywords: Environmental Kuznets Curve; Carbon Emissions; Economic Growth
    JEL: A1
    Date: 2018–04–01
  28. By: Gilles Le Garrec (Observatoire français des conjonctures économiques)
    Abstract: When studying attitudes towards redistribution, surveys show that individuals do care about fairness. They also show that the cultural environment in which people grow up affects their preferences about redistribution. In this article we include these two components of the demand for redistribution in order to develop a mechanism for the cultural transmission of the concern for fairness. The preferences of the young are partially shaped through the observation and imitation of others' choices. More specifically, observing during childhood how adults have collectively failed to implement fair redistributive policies lowers the concern during adulthood for fairness or the moral cost of not supporting fair taxation. Based on this mechanism, the model exhibits a multiplicity of history-dependent stationary states that may account for the huge and persistent differences in redistribution observed between Europe and the United States. It also explains why immigrants from countries with a preference for greater redistribution continue to support higher redistribution in their destination country.
    Keywords: Redistribution; Fairness; Majority rule; Social norms; Endogenous preferences
    JEL: H53 D63 D72
    Date: 2017–09
  29. By: Fabian Kosse (University of Bonn); Thomas Deckers (University of Bonn); Pia Pinger (Universität Bonn); Hannah Schildberg-Horisch (University of Bonn); Armin Falk (University of Bonn)
    Abstract: This study presents descriptive and causal evidence on the role of social environment for the formation of prosociality. In a first step, we show that socio-economic status (SES) as well as the intensity of mother-child interaction and mothers’ prosocial attitudes are systematically related to elementary school children’s prosociality. In a second step, we present evidence on a randomly- assigned variation of the social environment, providing children with a mentor for the duration of one year. Our data include a two-year follow-up and reveal a significant and persistent increase in prosociality in the treatment relative to the control group. Moreover, enriching the social environment bears the potential to close the observed gap in prosociality between low and high SES children. A mediation analysis of the observed treatment effect suggests that prosociality develops in response to stimuli in the form of prosocial role models and intense social interactions.
    Keywords: Formation of preferences, prosociality, social preferences, trust, social inequality
    JEL: D64 C90
    Date: 2018–05

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