Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

Integrating the human sciences to evolve effective policies

Contents:

Author Info

  • Biglan, Anthony
  • Cody, Christine
Registered author(s):

    Abstract

    This paper describes an evolutionary perspective on human development and wellbeing and contrasts it with the model of self-interest that is prominent in economics. The two approaches have considerably different implications for how human wellbeing might be improved. Research in psychology, prevention science, and neuroscience is converging on an evolutionary account of the importance of two contrasting suites of social behavior—prosociality vs. antisocial behaviors (crime, drug abuse, risky sexual behavior) and related problems such as depression. Prosociality of individuals and groups evolves in environments that minimize toxic biological and social conditions, promote and richly reinforce prosocial behavior and attitudes, limit opportunities for antisocial behavior, and nurture the pursuit of prosocial values. Conversely, antisocial behavior and related problems emerge in environments that are high in threat and conflict. Over the past 30 years, randomized trials have shown numerous family, school, and community interventions to prevent most problem behaviors and promote prosociality. Research has also shown that poverty and economic inequality are major risk factors for the development of problem behaviors. The paper describes policies that can reduce poverty and benefit youth development. Although it is clear that the canonical economic model of rational self-interest has made a significant contribution to the science of economics, the evidence reviewed here shows that it must be reconciled with an evolutionary perspective on human development and wellbeing if society is going to evolve public policies that advance the health and wellbeing of the entire population.

    Download Info

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0167268112002776
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization.

    Volume (Year): 90 (2013)
    Issue (Month): S ()
    Pages: S152-S162

    as in new window
    Handle: RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:90:y:2013:i:s:p:s152-s162

    Contact details of provider:
    Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/jebo

    Related research

    Keywords: Antisocial behavior; Evolution; Policy; Poverty; Prevention; Prosociality;

    Find related papers by JEL classification:

    References

    References listed on IDEAS
    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.:
    as in new window
    1. Kirk Brown & Tim Kasser, 2005. "Are Psychological and Ecological Well-being Compatible? The Role of Values, Mindfulness, and Lifestyle," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 74(2), pages 349-368, November.
    2. Gordon B. Dahl & Lance Lochner, 2010. "The Impact of Family Income on Child Achievement: Evidence from the Earned Income Tax Credit," University of Western Ontario, CIBC Centre for Human Capital and Productivity Working Papers 20105, University of Western Ontario, CIBC Centre for Human Capital and Productivity.
    3. Gowdy, John M. & Dollimore, Denise E. & Wilson, David Sloan & Witt, Ulrich, 2013. "Economic cosmology and the evolutionary challenge," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 90(S), pages S11-S20.
    4. Henrich, Joseph, 2004. "Cultural group selection, coevolutionary processes and large-scale cooperation," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 53(1), pages 3-35, January.
    5. David Neumark & Scott Adams, 2003. "Do Living Wage Ordinances Reduce Urban Poverty?," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 38(3).
    6. Wen, Ming & Browning, Christopher R. & Cagney, Kathleen A., 2003. "Poverty, affluence, and income inequality: neighborhood economic structure and its implications for health," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 57(5), pages 843-860, September.
    7. Brown, Charles, 1999. "Minimum wages, employment, and the distribution of income," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 32, pages 2101-2163 Elsevier.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Lists

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:90:y:2013:i:s:p:s152-s162. 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: (Zhang, Lei).

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.