New Economics Papers
on Neuroeconomics
Issue of 2010‒02‒20
three papers chosen by

  1. Certain and Uncertain Utility: The Allais Paradox and Five Decision Theory Phenomena By James Andreoni; Charles Sprenger
  2. Genes, Economics, and Happiness By Bruno S. Frey
  3. Cooperation and diversity. An evolutionary approach By Bruni, Luigino; Smerilli, Alessandra

  1. By: James Andreoni; Charles Sprenger
    Date: 2010–02–04
  2. By: Bruno S. Frey
    Abstract: Research on happiness has produced valuable insights into the sources of subjective well-being. A major finding from this literature is that people exhibit a "baseline" happiness that shows persistent strength over time, and twin studies have shown that genes play a signi cant role in explaining the variance of baseline happiness between individuals. However, these studies have not identi ed which genes might be involved. This article presents evidence of a speci c gene that predicts subjective well-being. Using data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health, we show that individuals with a transcriptionally more ecient version of the serotonin transporter gene (5HTT) are signi cantly more likely to report higher levels of life satisfaction. Having one or two alleles of the more ecient type raises the average likelihood of being very satis ed with one's life by 8.5% and 17.3%, respectively. This result may help to explain the stable component of happiness and suggests that genetic association studies can help us to better understand individual heterogeneity in subjective well- being.
    Keywords: Happiness; Subjective Well-Being; Genetics
    JEL: A12 Z00
    Date: 2010–01
  3. By: Bruni, Luigino; Smerilli, Alessandra
    Abstract: n this paper we propose a pluralistic and multi-dimensional ap- proach to cooperation. Specifically, we seek to show that, in certain settings, less unconditional forms of cooperation may be combined with more gratuitous ones. Starting with the prisoner’s dilemma game, the evolution of cooperation is analyzed in the presence of different strate- gies, which represent the heterogeneity of the forms of cooperation in civil life. There are many behaviour patterns, though not all of them are based on self-interest and conditionality. The dynamics of coop- eration are studied through the use of evolutionary games applied in contexts that are either one-shot or repetitive. One of the most impor- tant results of the paper is the conclusion that cooperation is favoured by heterogeneity.
    Keywords: cooperation; Prisoner’s Dilemma; reciprocity; hetero- geneity; evolutionary game theory
    JEL: D64 C73 C72
    Date: 2010–01

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