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Human prosociality toward nonkin is ubiquitous and almost unique in the animal kingdom. It remains poorly understood, although a proliferation of theories has arisen to explain it. We present evidence from survey data and laboratory treatment of experimental subjects that is consistent with a set of theories based on group-level selection of cultural norms favoring prosociality. In particular, increases in competition increase trust levels of individuals who (i) work in firms facing more competition, (ii) live in states where competition increases, (iii) move to more competitive industries, and (iv) are placed into groups facing higher competition in a laboratory experiment. The findings provide support for cultural group selection as a contributor to human prosociality.
As predicted by cultural group selection, increases in firm-level competition raise the generalized trust of workers.
This note evaluates the scrambled questions penalty using multiple choice tests taken by first-year undergraduate students who follow a microeconomics introductory course. We provide new evidence that students perform worse at scrambled questionnaires than at logically ordered ones. We improve on previous studies by explicitly modeling students individual skills thanks to a fixed effects regression. We further show that the scrambled questions penalty does not differ along gender but varies along the distribution of students' skills and mostly affects students with lower-intermediate skills.
We introduce imperfect labor markets into the tax competition framework. Countries set tax rates on profit and income. Labor is immobile across countries, while capital is mobile. We show the importance of asymmetries in labor market institutions for the optimal tax policy. While most of the labor market variables play no role for the tax rates in autarchic countries, they become important when tax competition is introduced. Especially, we find that a country with “better” labor market institutions taxes capital at a higher rate and income at a lower rate compared to a country with “bad” labor markets.
In this paper we first introduce an approach relying on market games to examine how successive oligopolies operate between downstream and upstream markets. This approach is then compared with the traditional analysis of oligopolistic interaction in successive markets. The market outcomes resulting from the two approaches are analysed under di¤erent technological regimes, decreasing vs constant returns.
In this paper, a lobby group or union may influence public policy because it is able, via a costly signal such as a boycott or a strike, to negatively impact the image of decision makers. The competence of a government is measured by its ability to do a lot with only a little money. Voters receive, through observing the level of public output, only a noisy signal of government's quality so that the lobby groups, which are better informed, may transmit to them more precise information about it.
Controlling for country fixed effects, there is a positive and statistically significant relationship between the degree of housing market regulation (HMR) and the strictness of employment protection legislation (EPL) in OECD countries. We provide a model in which HMR increases foreclosure costs in case of mortgage default, while EPL raises the administrative cost of dismissal. Owing to banks' lending behavior, individuals' demand for job protection increases with the cost of foreclosure. We use the model to discuss social housing and family insurance, the case for mortgage unemployment insurance, the impact of min down-payment policies, regulations on the use of fixed-term contracts, the failure of a 2006 French reform of labor contracts, and feed-back effects from HMR to EPL.
Although there is mounting empirical evidence that the mere presence of borders contribute to reduce trade significantly, there is no firm view on what are the reasons underlying this phenomenon. This paper investigates the role played by asymmetries in judicial systems in driving the "border effect". First, we provide evidence that differences in the judicial system matter for the volume of trade flows. Variables capturing the extent of asymmetries in the procedures to settle trade litigations perform significantly in estimation both across OECD countries and across French regions. Second, we develop a matching model of trade showing that such asymetries in the legal system fragment trade through a mechanism which is essentially different compared with that of transport costs or formal trade barriers.
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We re-examine the efficiency of observable and unobservable crime protection decisions with new results and insights. Observable protection is unambiguously associated with a negative externality. At the individual level, it reduces the crime effort, but its unit payoff remains unchanged. Conversely, unobservable protection reduces the unit payoff and has no effect on the crime effort exerted, though it deters crime globally. A decrease in the global crime payoff is detrimental to a victim if protection is observable, while it is beneficial when unobservable. While observable protection has a positive diversion effect, it has the opposite effect when unobservable.
In this paper, we analyze the trade war between two large countries when the trade policy is decided through majority voting. We show how the distributive aspect of trade policy interacts with the strategic aspect. It is shown that the voting equilibrium depends on the distribution of the factor endowment. If median voters in each country own relatively more (less) than the aggregate economy of the factor used intensively in the production of the imported good, the tariffs outcome of the trade war at home (abroad) is larger (lower) than the Johnson-Mayer one. This is to say that the strategic effects from trade policy can be isolated from the distributive aspect. Moreover, an increase of the median of the scarce/abundant factor distribution in one country leads to a larger tariff in this country and a lower tariff in the other. This implies that the political situation in one country affects the outcome of the trade war for both.