The Evolutionary Foundations of Economics
University of Western Australia Economics Discussion Paper 15.09
44 Pages Posted: 29 Apr 2015
Date Written: March 29, 2015
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.
Keywords: human evolution, heritability, preferences, genoeconomics, economic development
JEL Classification: Z00
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation