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The Evolutionary Foundations of Economics

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  • Jason Collins

    (Business School, University of Western Australia)

  • Boris Baer

    (Centre for Integrative Bee Research (CIBER) ARC CoE in Plant Energy Biology, University of Western Australia)

  • Ernst Juerg Weber

    (Business School, University of Western Australia)

Abstract

As human traits and preferences were shaped by natural selection, there is substantial potential for the use of evolutionary biology in economic analysis. In this paper, we review the extent to which evolutionary theory has been incorporated into economic research. We examine work in four areas: the evolution of preferences, the molecular genetic basis of economic traits, the interaction of evolutionary and economic dynamics, and the genetic foundations of economic development. These fields comprise a thriving body of research, but have significant scope of further investigation. In particular, the growing accessibility of low cost molecular data will create more opportunities for research on the relationship between molecular genetic information and economic traits.

Suggested Citation

  • Jason Collins & Boris Baer & Ernst Juerg Weber, 2015. "The Evolutionary Foundations of Economics," Economics Discussion / Working Papers 15-09, The University of Western Australia, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:uwa:wpaper:15-09
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