In search of homo economicus: behavioral experiments in 15 small scale societies

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Publication Type Journal Article
School or College College of Social & Behavioral Science
Department Anthropology
Creator McElreath, Richard
Other Author Henrich, Joseph; Boyd, Robert; Bowles, Samuel; Camerer, Colin; Fehr, Ernst; Gintis, Herbert
Title In search of homo economicus: behavioral experiments in 15 small scale societies
Date 2001
Description Recent investigations have uncovered large, consistent deviations from the predictions of the textbook representation of Homo economicus One problem appears to lie in economists' canonical assumption that individuals are entirely self-interested: in addition to their own material payoffs, many experimental subjects appear to care about fairness and reciprocity, are willing to change the distribution of material outcomes at personal cost, and are willing to reward those who act in a cooperative manner while punishing those who do not even when these actions are costly to the individual. These deviations from what we will term the canonical model have important consequences for a wide range of economic phenomena, including the optimal design of institutions and contracts, the allocation of property rights, the conditions for successful collective action, the analysis of incomplete contracts, and the persistence of noncompetitive wage premia.
Type Text
Publisher American Economics Association
Volume 91
Issue 2
First Page 73
Last Page 78
Subject Economic behavior; Self-interest; Fairness; Reciprocity
Subject LCSH Egoism; Economics; Altruism
Language eng
Bibliographic Citation Henrich, J., McElreath, R., Boyd, R., Bowles, S., Camerer, C., Fehr, E., & Gintis, H. (2001). In search of homo oeconomicus: behavioral experiments in 15 small scale societies. American Economic Review, 91(2), 73-8.
Rights Management (c)American Economic Association
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Reference URL https://collections.lib.utah.edu/details?id=702804
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