Homo economicus must die (with Samuel Bowles)

Homo economicus is the figurative human being used in economic modeling. But the term defines human nature as perfectly rational, perfectly logical, and always self-interested. Does that sound like any real humans you know? Nope, we didn’t thi…

Homo economicus is the figurative human being used in economic modeling. But the term defines human nature as perfectly rational, perfectly logical, and always self-interested. Does that sound like any real humans you know? Nope, we didn’t think so either. So we invited Professor Samuel Bowles to join Nick and Goldy in throwing a funeral for homo economicus, and all the flawed economic thinking that he’s inspired over the years.  

Samuel Bowles is a Research Professor at the Santa Fe Institute where he heads the Behavioral Sciences Program. His work on cultural evolution have challenged the conventional economic assumption that people are motivated entirely by self-interest. His most recent books are ‘The Moral Economy: Why good laws are no substitute for good citizens’ and ‘A Cooperative Species: Human reciprocity and its revolution’. 

‘Spock goes shopping’ was based on a thought experiment in Eric Beinhocker’s book ‘The Origin of Wealth’: https://www.indiebound.org/book/9781422121030

https://democracyjournal.org/arguments/homo-economicus-must-die/

https://www.core-econ.org/

https://yalebooksblog.co.uk/2016/10/11/the-moral-economy-homo-economicus-becomes-human/


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