The Moral Economy

Author: Samuel Bowles
Publisher: Yale University Press
ISBN: 0300221088
Size: 17.68 MB
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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
Size: 23.27 MB
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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
Size: 54.45 MB
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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
Size: 51.29 MB
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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.

Social Limits To Growth

Author: Fred Hirsch
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1134812175
Size: 53.20 MB
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The promise of economic growth which has dominated society for so long has reached an impasse. In his classic analysis, Fred Hirsch argued that the causes of this were essentially social rather than physical. Affluence brings its own problems. As societies become richer, an increasing proportion of the extra goods and services created are not available to everybody. Material affluence does not make for a better society. Fred Hirsch's classic exposition of the social limits to growth manages to connect many of the apparently disparate factors that blight modern life: alienation at work and deteriorating cities as well as inflation and unemployment.

Market State And Community

Author: David Miller
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780198278641
Size: 80.31 MB
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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.

Moral Markets

Author: Paul J. Zak
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 9781400837366
Size: 18.13 MB
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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.

Sustainability For A Warming Planet

Author: Humberto Llavador
Publisher: Harvard University Press
ISBN: 0674286618
Size: 56.59 MB
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Human-generated greenhouse gas emissions imperil a global resource: a biosphere capable of supporting life as we know it. What is the fair way to share this scarce resource across present and future generations and across regions of the world? This study offers a new perspective based on the guiding ethics of sustainability and egalitarianism.

Never Out Of Season

Author: Rob Dunn
Publisher: Little, Brown
ISBN: 031626069X
Size: 73.63 MB
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A Fast Food Nation for the foods we grow and depend on The bananas we eat today aren't your parents' bananas: We eat a recognizable, consistent breakfast fruit that was standardized in the 1960s from dozens into one basic banana. But because of that, the banana we love is dangerously susceptible to a pathogen that might wipe them out. That's the story of our food today: Modern science has brought us produce in perpetual abundance-once-rare fruits are seemingly never out of season, and we breed and clone the hardiest, best-tasting varieties of the crops we rely on most. As a result, a smaller proportion of people on earth go hungry today than at any other moment in the last thousand years, and the streamlining of our food supply guarantees that the food we buy, from bananas to coffee to wheat, tastes the same every single time. Our corporate food system has nearly perfected the process of turning sunlight, water and nutrients into food. But our crops themselves remain susceptible to the nature's fury. And nature always wins. Authoritative, urgent, and filled with fascinating heroes and villains from around the world, Never Out of Season is the story of the crops we depend on most and the scientists racing to preserve the diversity of life, in order to save our food supply, and us.

Beyond Pleasure And Pain

Author: E. Tory Higgins
Publisher: OUP USA
ISBN: 0199765820
Size: 11.89 MB
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How does motivation work? Scientific research shows that people are motivated to be effective in different ways that go beyond the pursuit of pleasure and the avoidance of pain. In this text, E. Tory Higgins provides a new theory of motivation that argues that people are motivated by the pursuit of value, truth, and control, but the central story to motivation lies in how these elements work together.