The Moral Economy

Author: Samuel Bowles
Publisher: Yale University Press
ISBN: 0300221088
Format: PDF
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Should the idea of economic man—the amoral and self-interested Homo economicus—determine how we expect people to respond to monetary rewards, punishments, and other incentives? Samuel Bowles answers with a resounding “no.” Policies that follow from this paradigm, he shows, may “crowd out” ethical and generous motives and thus backfire. But incentives per se are not really the culprit. Bowles shows that crowding out occurs when the message conveyed by fines and rewards is that self-interest is expected, that the employer thinks the workforce is lazy, or that the citizen cannot otherwise be trusted to contribute to the public good. Using historical and recent case studies as well as behavioral experiments, Bowles shows how well-designed incentives can crowd in the civic motives on which good governance depends.

The New Economics of Inequality and Redistribution

Author: Samuel Bowles
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 1107014034
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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Incorporating the latest results from behavioral economics and microeconomic theory, Samuel Bowles argues that conventional economics has mistakenly presented inequality as the price of progress. In place of this view, he offers a novel and optimistic account of the possibility of a more just economy.

A Cooperative Species

Author: Samuel Bowles
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 9781400838837
Format: PDF, Docs
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Why do humans, uniquely among animals, cooperate in large numbers to advance projects for the common good? Contrary to the conventional wisdom in biology and economics, this generous and civic-minded behavior is widespread and cannot be explained simply by far-sighted self-interest or a desire to help close genealogical kin. In A Cooperative Species, Samuel Bowles and Herbert Gintis--pioneers in the new experimental and evolutionary science of human behavior--show that the central issue is not why selfish people act generously, but instead how genetic and cultural evolution has produced a species in which substantial numbers make sacrifices to uphold ethical norms and to help even total strangers. The authors describe how, for thousands of generations, cooperation with fellow group members has been essential to survival. Groups that created institutions to protect the civic-minded from exploitation by the selfish flourished and prevailed in conflicts with less cooperative groups. Key to this process was the evolution of social emotions such as shame and guilt, and our capacity to internalize social norms so that acting ethically became a personal goal rather than simply a prudent way to avoid punishment. Using experimental, archaeological, genetic, and ethnographic data to calibrate models of the coevolution of genes and culture as well as prehistoric warfare and other forms of group competition, A Cooperative Species provides a compelling and novel account of how humans came to be moral and cooperative.

Identity Economics

Author: George A. Akerlof
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 9781400834181
Format: PDF, Mobi
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Identity Economics provides an important and compelling new way to understand human behavior, revealing how our identities--and not just economic incentives--influence our decisions. In 1995, economist Rachel Kranton wrote future Nobel Prize-winner George Akerlof a letter insisting that his most recent paper was wrong. Identity, she argued, was the missing element that would help to explain why people--facing the same economic circumstances--would make different choices. This was the beginning of a fourteen-year collaboration--and of Identity Economics. The authors explain how our conception of who we are and who we want to be may shape our economic lives more than any other factor, affecting how hard we work, and how we learn, spend, and save. Identity economics is a new way to understand people's decisions--at work, at school, and at home. With it, we can better appreciate why incentives like stock options work or don't; why some schools succeed and others don't; why some cities and towns don't invest in their futures--and much, much more. Identity Economics bridges a critical gap in the social sciences. It brings identity and norms to economics. People's notions of what is proper, and what is forbidden, and for whom, are fundamental to how hard they work, and how they learn, spend, and save. Thus people's identity--their conception of who they are, and of who they choose to be--may be the most important factor affecting their economic lives. And the limits placed by society on people's identity can also be crucial determinants of their economic well-being.

Moral Sentiments and Material Interests

Author: Herbert Gintis
Publisher: MIT Press
ISBN: 9780262072526
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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Multidisciplinary research into cooperation and the implications for public policy, drawing on insights from economics, anthropology, biology, social psychology, and sociology.

Moral Markets

Author: Paul J. Zak
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 9781400837366
Format: PDF, Docs
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Like nature itself, modern economic life is driven by relentless competition and unbridled selfishness. Or is it? Drawing on converging evidence from neuroscience, social science, biology, law, and philosophy, Moral Markets makes the case that modern market exchange works only because most people, most of the time, act virtuously. Competition and greed are certainly part of economics, but Moral Markets shows how the rules of market exchange have evolved to promote moral behavior and how exchange itself may make us more virtuous. Examining the biological basis of economic morality, tracing the connections between morality and markets, and exploring the profound implications of both, Moral Markets provides a surprising and fundamentally new view of economics--one that also reconnects the field to Adam Smith's position that morality has a biological basis. Moral Markets, the result of an extensive collaboration between leading social and natural scientists, includes contributions by neuroeconomist Paul Zak; economists Robert H. Frank, Herbert Gintis, Vernon Smith (winner of the 2002 Nobel Prize in economics), and Bart Wilson; law professors Oliver Goodenough, Erin O'Hara, and Lynn Stout; philosophers William Casebeer and Robert Solomon; primatologists Sarah Brosnan and Frans de Waal; biologists Carl Bergstrom, Ben Kerr, and Peter Richerson; anthropologists Robert Boyd and Michael Lachmann; political scientists Elinor Ostrom and David Schwab; management professor Rakesh Khurana; computational science and informatics doctoral candidate Erik Kimbrough; and business writer Charles Handy.

The Moral Economy

Author: Laurence Fontaine
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 1107018811
Format: PDF, Kindle
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The Moral Economy examines the nexus of poverty, credit, and trust in early modern Europe. It starts with an examination of poverty, the need for credit, and the lending practices of different social groups. It then reconstructs the battles between the Churches and the State around the ban on usury, and analyzes the institutions created to eradicate usury and the informal petty financial economy that developed as a result. Laurence Fontaine unpacks the values that structured these lending practices, namely, the two competing cultures of credit that coexisted, fought, and sometimes merged: the vibrant aristocratic culture and the capitalistic merchant culture. More broadly, Fontaine shows how economic trust between individuals was constructed in the early modern world. By creating a dialogue between past and present, and contrasting their definitions of poverty, the role of the market, and the mechanisms of microcredit, Fontaine draws attention to the necessity of recognizing the different values that coexist in diverse political economies.

Market State and Community

Author: David Miller
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780198278641
Format: PDF, Kindle
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David Miller makes a comprehensive analysis of an economy in which market mechanisms retain a central role, but in which capitalist patterns of ownership have been superceded. He provides a clear, coherent statement of the theoretical basis of market socialism, and justifies it as a viable political option.

Fair Play

Author: Steven E. Landsburg
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 9781451658767
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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With his witty and instructive book The Armchair Economist, Steven Landsburg won popularity and acclaim by using economics to illuminate the mysteries of daily life, and using daily life to illuminate the mysteries of economics. Now Landsburg returns to address fundamental issues like fairness, tolerance, morality and justice—issues that are as important on the playground as they are in the marketplace. With the help of his daughter, Cayley, he contrasts the wisdom of parents with the wisdom of economists—not always to the credit of the latter. How should we feel about taxes that redistribute income? Ask how parents feel about children who forcibly "redistribute" other children's toys. How should we respond to those who complain that their neighbors are too wealthy? Ask how parents respond when children complain that their siblings got too much cake. By insisting that fairness can't mean one thing for children and another for adults, Landsburg shows that the instincts of the parent have profound consequences for economic justice. Along the way, Landsburg—with his customary sharp wit and challenging logic—pauses to reflect on an astonishing variety of issues in economic theory, the philosophy of parenting, the true nature of family values, and how to get the most out of life. He uses parent-child interactions to explain the economics of free trade and immigration, progressive taxation, minimum wages, racial discrimination, and the role of money. He makes the best possible philosophical cases for and against progressive taxation, and weighs them against the wisdom of the playground. He explains why children are a good thing, and why economic theory tells us we don't have enough of them. He meditates on the role of authority in our lives, the effects of cultural bias, and why it's important to read poetry to your children. This lively and entertaining book will inform and delight readers who have forgotten the human side of the dismal science.

Incentives

Author: Donald E. Campbell
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 1108547958
Format: PDF
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When incentives work well, individuals prosper. When incentives are poor, the pursuit of self-interest is self-defeating. This book is wholly devoted to the topical subject of incentives from individual, collective, and institutional standpoints. This third edition is fully updated and expanded, including a new section on the 2007–08 financial crisis and a new chapter on networks as well as specific applications of school placement for students, search engine ad auctions, pollution permits, and more. Using worked examples and lucid general theory in its analysis, and seasoned with references to current and past events, Incentives: Motivation and the Economics of Information examines: the performance of agents hired to carry out specific tasks, from taxi drivers to CEOs; the performance of institutions, from voting schemes to medical panels deciding who gets kidney transplants; a wide range of market transactions, from auctions to labor markets to the entire economy. Suitable for advanced undergraduate and graduate students studying incentives as part of courses in microeconomics, economic theory, managerial economics, political economy, and related areas of social science.