Tuesday, May 31, 2011
Talk at MIT Legatum Center, April 11, 2011.
Plump Jack Inn, Squaw Valley. Law, Institutions, and Human Behavior conference, May 22-25; Innovation and Economic Growth conference, May 25-27, 2011. Some highlights/key points:
Prof. Bart Wilson, Economics, Chapman University. In experiments conducted with Econ Nobelist Vernon Smith, entrepreneurs were stronger drivers of economic growth than were either the presence or absence of intellectual property (IP) rights.
Prof. June Carbone, Chair of Law, the Constitution and Society, Univ of Mo., Kansas City: Today, the most highly educated men and women are the most likely to be married, in contrast to 1970, when education was not a factor. Working class women are more unhappy and divorce-prone if they have to work to support family. Middle and upper class women work more because of choice and are happier as a result of work. The greater the inequality in male wages, the lower the female marriage rate in cities: the top is the only group where marriageable men outnumber marriageable women. Investment is women’s education increases marital as well as income prospects. Increased male inequality increases female search costs and delays in marriage.
Prof. Carl Bergstrom, Biology, Univ of WA. The work of American geneticist Sewall Wright (1889 –1988) on theoretical population genetics with R. A. Fisher and J.B.S. Haldane led to the modern evolutionary synthesis of genetics with evolution. Selection is inefficient in large, heterogeneous populations; well-mixed populations get stuck on local peaks. In contrast, spatial segmentation and inbreeding creates small, homogeneous populations in which selection is efficient. They can search the adaptive landscape in parallel, then spread innovations via migration, even if limited.
Bill Casebeer, DARPA. Tight linkage between economic growth and trust. If an avatar that physically resembles you is programmed to (virtually) exercise/work out, it is more likely that you will exercise/work out.
Prof. Marshall van Alstyne, BU Dept of MIS. By tracking how many people search for flu-related topics, Google can predict flu outbreaks 1-2 weeks ahead of the Center for Disease Control (CDC).
Sarah Brosnan, Georgia State University, Dept of Psychology & Neuroscience Institute. The primates most willing to (intelligently) break rank with the lead chimp and use high-value tokens for sought-after grapes instead of low-value tokens for less-desired cucumbers, were the lowest ranking chimps in the group. The rest simply mimicked the lead chimp and only got cucumbers. My question: were the chimps low ranking because they had previously broken rank, or did they feel free to break rank because they were low status? (Can’t help but to see a similarity between low status chimps and geeks J) Sarah: some of both.
David G. Rand, Program for Evolutionary Dynamics, Harvard, uses Amazon Mechanical Turk for cheap, large-scale social science experiments. Findings: if interactions are with people at random, cooperation declines. In contrast, homophily (hanging out with people similar to you) promotes cooperation.
Gordon Getty. Growth is free.