Articles

Jess Benhabib, Shenghao Zhu. Age, Luck And Inheritance

We present a mechanism to analytically generate a double Pareto distribution of wealth in a continuous time OLG model with optimizing agents who have bequest motives, are subject to stochastic returns on capital and have uncertain lifespans. We disentangle, roughly, the contribution of inheritance, age and stochastic rates of capital return to wealth inequality, in particular to the Gini coefficient. We investigate the role of the fiscal and redistributive policies for wealth inequality and soci...

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Geoffrey M. Hodgson, Thorbjørn Knudsen. Dismantling Lamarckism: why descriptions of socio-economic evolution as Lamarckian are misleading

This paper addresses the widespread tendency to describe socio-economic evolution as Lamarckian. The difference between Lamarckian and Darwinian replication is clarified. It is shown that a phenotype-genotype distinction must first be established before we can identify Lamarckian transmission. To qualify as Lamarckian inheritance, acquired properties at the phenotypic level must be encoded in a genotype that is passed on to the next generation. Some possible social replicators (or genotypes) are...

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Peter A. Corning. Biological Adaption In Human Societies: A ‘Basic Needs’ Approach

The ground-zero premise (so to speak) of the biological sciences is the assumption that survival and reproduction is the basic, continuing, inescapable problem for all living organisms; life is at bottom a “survival enterprise.” Whatever may be our perceptions, aspirations, or illusions, this tap-root assumption is applicable to the human species as well. Survival is the “paradigmatic problem” for all human societies; it is a prerequisite for any other, more exalted objectives. A key concept in ...

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Boris Hirsch, Elke Jahn, Claus Schnabel. The Cyclical Behaviour of Employers’ Monopsony Power and Workers’ Wages

This paper investigates the behaviour of employers’ monopsony power and workers’ wages over the business cycle. Using German administrative linked employer-employee data for the years 1985-2010 and an estimation framework based on duration models, we construct a time series of the firm-level labour supply elasticity and estimate its relationship to the aggregate unemployment rate. In line with theory, we find that firms possess more monopsony power during economic downturns, which shows to be ro...

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Winkelmann, L; Winkelmann, R. Personality, work, and satisfaction: evidence from the German Socio-Economic Panel

Previous studies in positive psychology have indicated that work satisfaction is an important determinant of individual well-being. Research has suggested that people are most satisfied with their work when they are doing what they are drawn to naturally. We provide further evidence on this issue from a large representative data set, the German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP). The 2005 wave of the SOEP contains a battery of personality questions as well as detailed information on personal life and w...

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Bruno S. Frey. A multiplicity of approaches to institutional analysis. Applications to the government and the arts

"Four types of economics relevant for institutional analysis are distinguished: Standard Neoclassical Economics; Socio-Economics or Social Economics; New Institutional Economics; and Psychological Economics (often misleadingly called Behavioural Economics). The paper argues that an extension of Neoclassical Economics with elements from other social sciences (including political science, sociology, psychology, law and anthropology) is fruitful to explain institutions because it allows us to maint...

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