Zakharenko, Roman (2011): The Role of Passionate Individuals in Economic Development.
Download (306kB) | Preview
In this paper, I merge two theories -- theory of "passionate individuals" by Gumilev(1989) and Memetics by Dawkins(1976) - to develop a formal growth theory that states that societies become more developed when their members have more intrinsic motivation to solve problems of social importance (i.e. make "cultural contributions"). Individuals derive utility from genetic fitness (i.e. the number of surviving children) as well as from cultural fitness, defined as the amount of appreciation ("honor") of one's cultural contribution by future generations. To make a cultural contribution, one must study/honor cultural contributions of the past, which leads to multiple steady states. In the survival steady state, individuals expect that no one in the future will be interested in their cultural contribution, which makes them allocate all energy onto maximization of genetic fitness and care little about cultural contributions of the past. In the passionate steady state, individuals expect high appreciation of their cultural contribution and thus spend a lot of energy onto making such a contribution, which makes them highly appreciate cultural contributions of the past. Empirical implications of theory are also discussed.
|Item Type:||MPRA Paper|
|Original Title:||The Role of Passionate Individuals in Economic Development|
|Keywords:||passionate individuals, human values, poverty traps, memetics, economic growth|
|Subjects:||O - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth > O1 - Economic Development > O11 - Macroeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
O - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth > O4 - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity > O49 - Other
Z - Other Special Topics > Z1 - Cultural Economics; Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology > Z13 - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Social and Economic Stratification
|Depositing User:||Roman Zakharenko|
|Date Deposited:||03. Feb 2011 19:45|
|Last Modified:||13. Feb 2013 21:12|
Edward C. Banfield. The Moral Basis of a Backward Society. The Free Press, 1958.
Gary S. Becker, Kevin M. Murphy, and Robert Tamura. Human capital, fertility, and economic growth. The Journal of Political Economy, 98(5):S12–S37, 1990.
Alberto Bisin and Thierry Verdier. The economics of cultural transmission and the dynamics of preferences. Journal of Economic Theory, 97(2):298 – 319, 2001.
Susan Blackmore. The meme machine. Oxford University Press, 2000.
John C. Caldwell and Pat Caldwell. The Cultural Context of High Fertility in sub-Saharan Africa. Population and Development Review, 13(3):pp. 409–437, 1987.
Richard Dawkins. The Selfish Gene. Oxford University Press, 1976.
Lev Gumilev. The End and the Beginning Again. Ayris Press, 2009(1989). In Russian.
W. D. Hamilton. The genetical evolution of social behaviour, I. Journal of Theoretical Biology, 7(1):1 – 16, 1964.
Ronald Inglehart and Wayne E. Baker. Modernization, cultural change, and the persistence of traditional values. American Sociological Review, 65(1):19 – 51, 2000.
Ronald Inglehart and Christian Welzel. Modernization, Cultural Change, and Democracy. Cambridge University Press, 2005.
Paul Krugman. History versus expectations. The Quarterly Journal of Economics, 106(2): pp. 651–667, 1991.
Dumas Malone. The Story of the Declaration of Independence. Oxford University Press, 1975.
Kevin M. Murphy, Andrei Shleifer, and Robert W. Vishny. Industrialization and the Big Push. The Journal of Political Economy, 97(5):pp. 1003–1026, 1989.
Lesley Newson and Peter J. Richerson. Why Do People Become Modern? A Darwinian Explanation. Population and Development Review, 35(1):117–158, 2009.
Arthur J. Robson. Status, the distribution of wealth, private and social attitudes to risk. Econometrica, 60(4):837–857, 1992.
P. N. Rosenstein-Rodan. Problems of Industrialisation of Eastern and South-Eastern Europe. The Economic Journal, 53(210/211):pp. 202–211, 1943.
Oded Stark. Altruism and Beyond. Cambridge Books. Cambridge University Press, 1999.
Guido Tabellini. The scope of cooperation: Values and incentives. Quarterly Journal of Economics, 123(3):905–950, 2008.
World Values Survey 1981-2008. World Values Survey association, official aggregate v.20090901 edition, 2009.
Roman Zakharenko. Children Versus Ideas: an “Influential” Theory of Demographic Transition. mimeo, 2010.