The Role of Passionate Individuals in Economic Development
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.
|Date of creation:||01 Feb 2011|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: |
Web page: http://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de
More information through EDIRC
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Robson, Arthur J, 1992. "Status, the Distribution of Wealth, Private and Social Attitudes to Risk," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 60(4), pages 837-57, July.
- Bisin, Alberto & Verdier, Thierry, 2001.
"The Economics of Cultural Transmission and the Dynamics of Preferences,"
Journal of Economic Theory,
Elsevier, vol. 97(2), pages 298-319, April.
- Bisin, A. & Verdier, T., 1997. "The Economics of Cultural Transmission and the Dynamics of Preferences," DELTA Working Papers 97-03, DELTA (Ecole normale supérieure).
- Kevin M. Murphy & Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, 1988.
"Industrialization and the Big Push,"
NBER Working Papers
2708, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Guido Tabellini, 2007.
"The Scope of Cooperation: values and incentives,"
328, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
- repec:cup:cbooks:9780521663731 is not listed on IDEAS
- Zakharenko, Roman, 2009. "Children Versus Ideas: an “Influential” Theory of Demographic Transition," MPRA Paper 17478, University Library of Munich, Germany.
- Krugman, Paul, 1991. "History versus Expectations," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 106(2), pages 651-67, May.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:28552. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Ekkehart Schlicht)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.