Samuel Bowles

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Samuel Bowles (PhD, Economics, Harvard University) "is Research Professor at the Santa Fe Institute where he heads the Behavioral Sciences Program. He is also Professor of Economics at the University of Siena. He taught economics at Harvard from 1965 to 1973 and at the University of Massachusetts, where he is now emeritus professor. His recent studies on cultural evolution have challenged the conventional economic assumption that people are motivated entirely by self-interest. These have included the mathematical modeling and agent-based computer simulations of the evolution of altruistic behaviors by means of multi-level selection and behavioral experiments in 15 huntergather and other small-scale societies. Bowles' current research also includes both theoretical and empirical studies of the role of incomplete contracts in labor markets and financial markets in explaining income inequality.

"His scholarly papers have appeared in Science, Nature, American Economic Review, Theoretical Population Biology, Journal of Theoretical Biology, Journal of Political Economy, Quarterly Journal of Economics, Behavioral and Brain Science, Philosophy and Public Affairs, Journal of Economic Literature, Journal of Economic Perspectives, , and the Economic Journal. His recent books include Microeconomics: Behavior, Institutions and Evolution (Princeton University Press, 2004), and Moral Sentiments and Material Interests: the Foundations of Cooperation in Economic Life (MIT Press, 2005), Unequal Chances: Family Background and Economic Success (Princeton University Press 2004), Foundations of Human Sociality: Economic Experiments and Ethnographic Evidence in 15 Small-scale Societies. (Oxford University Press. 2004) and Understanding Capitalism: Competition, Command and Change (Oxford University Press, 2004).

"He has also served as an economic advisor to the governments of Cuba, South Africa and Greece, to presidential candidates Robert F. Kennedy and Jesse Jackson, and to the World Bank and the International Labor Organization.

"His next major work, A Cooperative Species: Human reciprocity and its evolution, will be co-authored with Herbert Gintis and completed in 2008. Drawing on their recent research on cultural and genetic evolution and his empirical studies of behavior in smallscale societies, this work will seek to explain why humans, unlike other animals, engage in extensive forms of cooperation among large numbers of unrelated individuals. Bowles’ webpage is:" [1]

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  1. Samuel Bowles, Santa Fe Institute, accessed November 12, 2008.